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November 16, 2021Comments are off for this post.

Should you be engaging in Christmas advertising this year?

When does Christmas officially begin? Does anyone know? Some believe it starts immediately after Halloween, but for marketers, it’s often kicked off by the John Lewis Christmas ad. Nothing signals the start of the festive season like the mad rush to get all of your shopping done early this year. But let’s be realistic. We all leave it to the last minute, don’t we? 

Regardless of how busy you’ll be keeping delivery drivers this quarter, we’re here to talk about your advertising and whether or not you should even be considering a Christmas ad at all.

Often, the answer to that question is what your business does. If you’re selling a product, you should absolutely take advantage of the festive rush. If you’re selling a service, well, it depends... 

The key to advertising in the holidays is relevance. You’ll see the likes of Coca-Cola, Waitrose and Aldi pumping millions into their Christmas advertising, and that’s for a reason. These brands want to associate with Christmas. They want you to buy their product or shop in their supermarket over the Christmas period. They want to be relevant to your holiday celebrations. 

However, for those selling a B2B service, you’ll often want your marketing to be more subdued, especially if you’re selling a service to people. For example, if you’re a software provider for the financial services sector, you’ll need to bear in mind that the business managers you’ll be selling to likely won’t be at their desks. Here, you might want to consider setting aside some budget for a quick bit of physical marketing for your clients and prospects. A Christmas hamper sent to a prospective client's office keeps you in the forefront of their mind come the new year, and you can always send a quick reminder. 

Moving back to advertising, there are a whole host of pros and cons of marketing over the Christmas season. Here are a few:

Pros:

  • Accelerated Traffic - You can safely expect more traffic over the Christmas holidays. More people are searching around online than at any other time of year, so it’s a good time to reach new audiences. 
  • People are spending more - Christmastime is the busiest time of the year for retailers, and people are spending more than at any other time of the year. This also tends to mean that people are more likely to buy than usual. This busy consumerism can mean you pick up some new clients or product sales.

Cons:

  • Competition - You’re not the only ones thinking of creating a Christmas campaign. You can fully expect that all of your competitors will be doing the same thing, targeting the same audiences, and gunning for the same results. Your ads will really need to stand out from the crowd if you’re going to find some success.
  • Cost - As a direct result of the increased competition for ad space over the Christmas period, the cost of advertising also increases dramatically. As more people launch their Christmas campaigns, the competition for keywords increases and the bidding war begins. This means that ads can cost up to 25% more than usual, or sometimes even higher.

So what are our best tips for advertising at Christmas?

  • Make sure your content and advertising are relevant to your target audience.
  • Start planning your campaign well in advance. Nobody can pinpoint exactly when Christmas ad space becomes competitive, but it’s best to get in early. Your campaign should ideally be ready a couple of months before Santa comes down the chimney! 
  • Keep your costs lower by engaging with warm audiences. They can be easy conversions! Use your email lists wisely.

September 4, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Budgeting: be clear on aims

Deciding on a budget can be a real challenge, let’s be honest. What is right for one business won’t simply slot into another’s plans. Here, Search Advertising Manager, Hannah Langton spells out how to keep it focused.

Whenever there’s a budget available to spend for advertising, it must come down to two crucial factors when being used:

Relevancy

Focus

These two attributes are crucial in deciding just how the budget will be used for a business, otherwise the ROI would be so low, some may be hesitant to try the process again.

It always matters when using a budget to make a business shine in its space. Through video, ad copy, or a short audio ad, it just needs to follow those two factors.

For example, having an accountancy firm on TikTok makes no sense; it gives the impression that it’s trying to be a ‘cool’ kid in an irrelevant space. The focus has to depend on the type of industry that your business is in, so look to certain avenues where the audience will be. Even the location for where the advertising will be bought for; focusing on an audience in London when your business is in Lincoln brings no benefit to the aim.

Start small and do the research. Take into account the channels that will benefit your business the most, from Facebook to Google ads, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on a select few that can not only fit in the budget, but also be given enough of the budget to make the impact that’s desired.

Give it the time that it deserves as well. Spending all the budget in a week is counter-intuitive, it needs to be given time to flourish. When spending on Google for example, we recommend giving up to three months for the impressions to become significant. Yet when budget is assigned to SEO, it could take up to six months, but that’s the nature of optimisation to search engines. It takes time for results to become significant. It’s also important to make sure that the ad spend is also relevant to the campaign at hand, otherwise efforts on certain social channels could be a waste to the cause.

If you’re still not sure on where to spend the budget, don’t be afraid to ask someone more-experienced in the field.

Even then, if the campaign still seems to be trailing off, a ‘back to back’ strategy could be the saviour to this. As long as it’s relevant, directing some of it to more visibility in another space such as TikTok or Facebook can help yield more results, and could even give you ideas for a new strategy if more budget is applied for the future.

If this scenario needs to occur, make sure that it’s relevant to the strategy that began when the budget was assigned.

Always keep in mind how much a conversion is worth to the brand; conversion is key, and it can be the ultimate decider in seeing more clicks for conversion.

Again, focus and relevancy will be key here to make sure that the budget is being used to its full potential. It can help spur ideas to the brand while also attracting new audiences, but give it the time that it’s due, and you may find new opportunities for the business that you may previously have been unaware of before.

September 4, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Peter: Using Your Budget Amount to Your Advantage

In business, I’m often asked:

What sort of budget should be put into digital marketing?

It’s an answer that can’t really be set in stone and one I can’t simply respond to; it all depends on the business and the amount you’re prepared to start with.

Some businesses out there will simply assign a certain amount of budget, spend it on Google Ads and Facebook, and expect a return, but there’s more to it than that. 

You need to start where you feel comfortable; know what you’re best at, and work from there. Have a budget that’s enough to analyse when you begin, so you can see exactly where the strengths are on certain platforms.

Recently we’ve been looking at TikTok, a social media platform that’s exploded in the last year in the 16-26 age range. Because of this, we’ve been looking at the type of ads that could be created to benefit many businesses out there. With CPC’s, CPM’s and other attributes having taken over ad spend rather than Facebook Advertising, it’s been crucial to see how much these are reflected on TikTok.

We’ve been testing the waters with some advertising lately and found the following:

CPC (Cost-Per-Click) at around £0.04 - £0.08

CPM (Cost-Per Mile) at around £0.60 - £1.00

CTR (Click-Through Rate) between 1.5%-4%

Of course, these results could change in the coming months as other businesses and even users become privy to the potential of TikTok, but it shows just how a social media platform could help influence a budget when planning out a campaign.

Even if you’ve never dipped a toe into digital marketing, the best starting-point is to look at something like ‘Google Keyword Search’ and ‘Google Keyword Planner’. You can find out directly what’s happening in the market, and just play around with it, so you can see which keywords can relate to your business, while also seeing the ROI.

However, don’t be too fixated on a set budget; be fluid with it, especially in the early days. There’s no harm in seeing a low result; it’s part of the learning curve for any business. But once you start seeing a substantial return; increase it, and look to other relevant keywords that can help push the campaign further.

There’s no right or wrong answer, but you need to be where the consumer is looking. Platforms like Tiktok are areas that businesses will need to be in the coming years.

April 23, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Facebook: goodbye Partner Categories

Facebook is making big changes to the way that audiences can be targeted on the platform; announcing that they will be shutting down Partner Categories. This comes as part of the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

 

Although partner categories were not directly involved in this most recent controversy, it is easy to see why Facebook may want to distance itself from this kind of deep-targeting and the negative press it is likely to attract. Partner Categories hasn’t yet become a focus of scrutiny, however, it’s a targeting capability which could easily be described as a little “big brother”-esque.

 

Partner Categories?

Quite simply, Partner Categories is targeting information that Facebook has obtained from third party big data companies. These partners have information on people based on their activities away from Facebook. For example: for a charity wanting to get more people signed up to monthly direct debit donations, advertisers on Facebook would be able to target people who already make regular charitable donations.

 

In the UK the information for Partner Categories is sourced from Acxiom, Experian, and Oracle Data Cloud (formerly DLX). Examples of targeting options are as follows:

 

Automotive shoppers

Company size

Charitable donations

Credit union member

Corporate executives

Retail purchase behaviour

Likely to move home

Business travellers

 

Here’s how it works…

Firstly, data mining companies collect data from independent websites, and then this information is then sold on to Facebook. Facebook matches the data up to specific users. Advertisers can then target these users based on that activity.

 

While Facebook doesn’t cite this as a reason for removal, there is a strong chance that they are taking this step to avoid people feeling like their privacy is being invaded. While the use of this data is not unique to Facebook advertising, it would likely come under scrutiny given the current hostile environment surrounding data.

 

As these aren’t particularly innovative or new, it’s probably an easy decision for Facebook to remove these now before they become a new PR headache.

 

Moving Forward

It is worth taking into account that this not only impacts those using Partner Categories through Ads Manager, but also those advertisers who work directly with Ad Reps at Facebook to get access to Data Logix targeting options.

 

Partner Categories are being phased out over the next six months, so there is no need for a knee jerk reaction to these changes. However, it is important for advertisers to start hunting out new ways of targeting these audiences: so start experimenting now, get creative and stay ahead of the curve!

 

February 27, 2018Comments are off for this post.

HTTPS: It’s time to act!

It is no secret that, for a while now, Google has boosted rankings of sites that are served over HTTPS (secure) rather than HTTP (unsecure). Whilst this is already a significant incentive for companies and web agencies to update themselves and their clients to HTTPS, many are still lagging behind with adopting this standard.

Even prominent websites such as IMDb, The Telegraph and Ticketmaster are still serving their users content over HTTP. In many of these cases, the websites that aren’t secure host contact forms which capture sensitive information, take payment details and have a login/user system. Google has even started listing the top 100 websites with a score on their HTTPS implementation (or lack of).

Google have recently announced that upcoming changes to Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, will result in even further penalties for non-HTTPS websites. From July 2018, visitors to unsecure websites will be made very aware of the fact they are not secure (below).

 

It is a common misconception that websites not capturing personal information/operating an online shop do not need HTTPS. Unfortunately, even static websites (that simply display information) can still be subject to hijacking and surveillance by malicious sources. Google’s new treatment of HTTP pages (above) will not discriminate based on the purpose/functionality of the website, and will display on all HTTP pages. This change is one of the early, hard-pushing steps by Google to drive the web further towards “HTTPS Everywhere”.

Another common misconception is that HTTPS certificates are expensive and complicated to install and maintain. As a general rule for smaller businesses, there are many options out there, that with a little technical knowledge, allow you to get a cheap (or sometimes even free) HTTPS certificate to make your website secure. Acknowledging the significance of having secure sites, many website hosting companies now include an SSL certificate as part of their packages. However, more standalone options now exist; including Let’s Encrypt.

All of the websites we build, maintain and host at Distract come with an SSL certificate as standard, as well as daily security scans and backups. This ensures our clients’ websites are secure, and can continue to serve the hundreds of thousands of visitors that access them every day.

If you’re looking for a reputable agency to take over the management of your existing WordPress website, or to enquire about creating a new website that drives results, please get in contact with us!

 

February 21, 2018Comments are off for this post.

What Facebook’s 2018 algorithm changes will mean for brands

On January 11th 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that changes will be made once again to the Newsfeed algorithm; these changes will mean that priority will be given to posts from friends, family and groups, over brands and business pages. This is supposedly an attempt to encourage meaningful interactions between friends on the platform.

So, does this mean as a business, you no longer need to use Facebook? In fact, it means exactly the opposite of this! Businesses will need to be smarter about how they use Facebook: relying on organic (no advertising) posting as a strategy will no longer be a viable option. Currently, the average organic post is only seen by approximately 10% of the people who 'like' your page, and this will no doubt decrease with this update. It is now more important than ever to be using Facebook’s paid (advertising) platform to achieve the desired reach and results.

The other focus will be on quality content; targeting your audience with appropriate, engaging and shareable material. Don’t be tempted to try and bypass the algorithm with click/engagement bait style posts, as these will not be considered as ‘meaningful interaction’, and as such, will be shown to your audience less.

As with previous changes to the algorithms, video will still be favoured over still images or text only posts, so this is worth bearing in mind when creating content. It is also believed that the changes will see a boost in performance of Facebook Live, meaning that we are likely to start seeing results similar to those that were achieved when live videos were first launched. So if video is something that you have not yet experimented with on your business page before, now is definitely a good time!

As always, we will closely monitor changes and keep you updated. The key points to take away at this time are: organic content for business is over, paid posts are now a must, prepare to see more live videos on your feed, and Facebook will now be rewarding the facilitation of meaningful conversation. It’s time to stop using click bait!

November 28, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Distract Earn Google Shopping Specialism

We are overjoyed to share the news that we have now been recognised by Google as a Shopping Advertising specialist. This is due to our continued commitment to helping client accounts grow, our ongoing optimisations and product expertise.

As a Google Partner, we are very proud that we have been earned extra recognition is this specialist area. The Shopping Advertising Specialism joins our previously gained specialisations in Search and Mobile Advertising, meaning we are now well placed to help clients achieve their full potential on AdWords.

Shona Finnie, Search Advertising Manager at Distract said “We pride ourselves in helping increase revenue and reaching our client's goals. Gaining this specialisation is fantastic news & another step forwards for helping our e-commerce clients. We are continuously developing our skills & are excited to showcase these to existing and future clients.”.

Bradley McKenny, Operations Director added “Since gaining Google Partner status, we have quickly gained our specialisms. I am very pleased that we again have been recognised for the work that Shona and her team have been putting into our client accounts. This further cements our position as the area’s digital marketing experts".

Get in contact with us today to see how we can utilise our Google AdWords specialisms to help grow your business.

 

November 27, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Creative split testing on Facebook just became a whole lot simpler!

Creative split testing of Facebook ads just became a whole lot simpler. Gone are the days of dividing audiences, and waiting for weeks to find out the results with the introduction of Facebooks new automated advert split testing feature.

A / B split testing is a great way to determine your best performing ad without delivering different versions of your advert to the same people within your audience, essentially forcing you to bid against yourself for advertising space.

Facebooks Split Testing does not work with all campaign objectives; you will need to select one of the following

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Lead Generation
  • Conversions
  • Catalogue Sales

When creating the campaign, you will see a checkbox that you can select to ‘Create split test’, then, as normal, name your campaign and continue on to the ad set.

At ad set level your audience is automatically divided into unique, non-overlapping groups. Each ad set has one distinct variable. Your test variables can either be different audience types or different ad delivery optimisation methods. You can also choose to split the budget and reach evenly across ad sets, or weight one more heavily than the others.

Performances are measured and compared over a series of days. You can create up to five ad variations. On the left, you’ll see Ad A through E (if applicable). The success of each ad set is measured by your campaign objective, then recorded and compared. The best-performing ad set wins.

 

How does this differ from Facebook’s old ad testing?

Until now, you could split test delivery optimization, for example Conversions vs. Link Clicks; Audience, split testing Web Traffic vs. Page engagement, being sure to exclude one audience. The latest feature to be added to Facebook split testing is the option to split test ad creative.

This is a major change to Facebook’s built-in split testing tool, the process of ensuring that audiences don’t overlap is now automated. Facebook randomly determines who is tested for each variation, without the need for exclusions.

Your split test will need to run for between three and 14 days. This is required so that Facebook can get the sample size necessary to determine a winner. There is, however, an option to end the split test early once a winner has been found…

After the test is complete, you'll receive a notification email containing the results. Use these insights to fuel your advertising strategy. The email will include; the chosen winner, a small analysis of the results and a percentage chance that you would get the same winner again should you choose to repeat the test.

The only down side we found to this testing method is, that once the winner is chosen, you are unable to just turn the advert back on, or even duplicate the ad, instead you will need to duplicate the campaign, but there is a button at the bottom of the results email to speed the process up.

Overall the new dynamic split testing is much more streamlined and user friendly than previous methods. So, next time you are creating an ad, why not get creative split test multiple ideas to get the best out of your adverts.

 

 

March 14, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Which Facebook Ads Work Best?

So you’re creating your Facebook Ads, but you’re greeted with a number of different advert types, or ‘Objectives’. But which one do you pick: Engagement? Conversions? Traffic? Brand Awareness?

The answer to which objective works best lies with what you want to achieve. At Chatty Imp, we rarely use the objectives other than; Traffic, Engagement, Conversions, Lead Generation and Video Views.

Here are the key features of some of the more objectives, to help you decide which one will work best for your campaign.

Traffic

If you’re looking to get people to your website, Traffic is the objective for you. Facebook will serve your ads to the people that are most likely to click through to your website. The key things to look out for on this objective are the number of clicks that your ads generate, and the cost-per-click (CPC).

Engagement

If you’re looking to get as many comments, shares and likes on your post as possible, then Engagement is the objective you need. This objective is perfect for competitions and announcements. Posts with high engagement are ideal for building your remarketing audiences, and act as a great generator of social proof. Cost-per-engagement is the metric that you need to keep an eye on here.

Conversions

If you want to sell products on your online store, get more eBook downloads or get more actions on your website, then Conversions is the one for you. Facebook will send your ads to people most likely to perform the action you have set as a conversion. The metric that you need to watch here is your cost-per-conversion. You want this to be as low as possible, and is a good indication of your ROI. You will also need to set up a Facebook Pixel on your website for this objective. For information on that, visit Facebook Help Centre. This is essentially a piece of code that is installed on your website that allows Facebook to track activity on the website which relates to your conversion.

Lead Generation

If your business is service-orientated, and you’re looking to find leads, then Lead Generation is the objective you need to be using. This presents Facebook users with a short form which can be customised, that collects data from interested people, similar to the call-back form that you’ll find on most service-based websites. Leads are stereotypically the most expensive form of objective on Facebook, partly because leads are rarer and more difficult to generate than other actions.

Video Views

If you have had a neat video made, then Video Views is the objective that will get you the most views at the best possible price. The key metrics you need to key an eye on here are cost-per-3-second-view and average watch time. You can then send subsequent remarketing ads to people that watched over or under a certain amount of your video.

If you have any other questions about Facebook advertising, or would like a free consultation to see how this can grow your business, drop us an email on hello@chattyimp.com!

October 4, 2016Comments are off for this post.

How to add us to your Advertising Account

Here is a guide to show you how to give us access to your Advertising Account.

Once you have logged into your business account through Business.Facebook.com, select the three lines from the top and it will open up a drop-down menu.

From here please select Business Manager Settings

 

1

Once you have done this, on the left-hand side there will be a bar, select Ad Accounts.
2

 

Once this has been selected, choose which account you want to pass over to us, and select Assign Partner

 

3

 

A pop-up will then come up, but you want to change to connect through partner ID.

 

4

 

 

Then select Ad Account Admin, and enter the Business ID we have given you.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-12-40-25

 

If you have any questions, please message your account manager.

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01522 716171

hello@distract.co.uk

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Waterside South

Lincoln, LN5 7JN

‌Distract Ltd. Registered in England and Wales #09689796. Registered Office: 4 Henley Way, Doddington Road, Lincoln LN6 3QR. Distract is a registered trademark of Distract Ltd.