Posts tagged display advertising
We're celebrating the 4th of July...

.... with brand new content inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

What do we have for you this month?

Ever wondered how your website is REALLY doing?

I've got a step-by-step video all about one of my favorite tools (Google Search Console) that includes how to set it up, explores all the features and tools, and walks you through how to analyze your results. Check out the latest Masterclass this month to get my tips and advice.

Speaking of websites.. frustrated with trying to write that perfect, customer converting copy for it?

Your website should tell your story, showcase your brand, AND convince your potential client/customer to buy. I know, easier said than done right!? Don't worry, I've brought in copywriter Amy Lanci, to give some of her best tips and guidelines for writing THE BEST website copy.

Putting out content but still struggling to get more followers on Instagram?

This month I invited guest expert, Yael Bendahan, And together we're exploring how to keep your instagram growing consistently with REAL potential clients and customers who will REALLY engage with your content (among other things).

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training later this month on how to get more organic traffic to your website) is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

Oh, and because you can try it out FREE for the first seven days, you can check all of this stuff WITHOUT paying a dime!

I can just hear the chorus of "Thank You's" now! (You're welcome by the way!)

Stop Being an SEO Horror Story
Online SEO Classes for Small Businesses by Hub Digital.

 

So, one of the things that really upsets us is hearing SEO horror stories. Can you relate to any of these:

You've wasted hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on SEO companies that promise big results, yet don't deliver.

You've attempted to learn about SEO, but have quickly become overwhelmed by terms and strategies you just don't get.

You've spent hours on SEO techniques you thought would work, only to find out later they are no longer relevant and you've wasted all that time.


If you've ever even attempted to implement an SEO strategy for your business to try to get it to the first page in Google search, chances are you've experienced one (or all) of these.

And, it's super frustrating!

You work so hard, you've built an amazing business, have an awesome product or service to sell, and you just want people to find you!

Yet it seems like no matter what you do, or what program you invest in, your website isn't showing up in Google Searches and you're still missing out on a ton of potential leads and sales.

Well, it's time to put a stop to that kind of thinking. 

"Big SEO For Small Businesses" is designed with you, the small business owner in mind.

1. It's filled with proven techniques that are guaranteed to move your website up in search so you can drive more traffic and increase sales organically.

2. It's broken down into 15 easy-to-follow segments so you can fit each lesson into your busy schedule when you have time. 

3. It won't cost you the thousands of dollars it would if you hired an "SEO expert" to do it for you.

That's right. It works. It saves you time. It saves you money.

So, it's time to do something good for your business. You've worked on hard on it, and it's worked hard for you. You deserve it.

Purchase "Big SEO For Small Businesses" 

How We Got Our Website to #1 in Google Search...
How we got our website to rank #1 in Google Search - Hub Digital Marketing, Rhode ISland.

Yesterday we pulled back the curtain and let everyone in on our newest class "Big SEO For Small Businesses". We had such a fun time giving away some of our best SEO tips in our free Master Class, and we're overwhelmed by the response of those looking to take that knowledge and dive even deeper by purchasing "Big SEO For Small Businesses"

We have to say, we're pretty exhausted after such a crazy day:

How Hub Digital in Rhode Island got their website to rank #1 in Google Searc with SEO.h.

But, we know that in the race to be #1 in Google Search there are no days off! (Ok, maybe you can take one or two here and there...)
 
After starting Hub Digital Marketing in 2014, we knew that being a small start up, with very little money to spend on ads, put us at a disadvantage when competing with large agencies. We made the decision that traditional ads were not going to work from us. So what did we do? We focused on getting to the top of organic search (aka SEO). 

After just a year we found ourselves ranking #1 in Google search for over 11 different identified keywords for our business, and continue to maintain those positions (and move up in others) 3 years later.

So, how did we do it? Here's our secret.... Consistency. 

We knew SEO wasn't a quick hit and that we would have to commit to best practices and continue to evolve over the years. Did it take work? Absolutely! But let us tell you something... It was SO worth it!

We now field calls from qualified leads, every week, from business owners looking for us.

We don't have to spend thousands of dollars on ads, we don't have to convince people to call us, and we don't have to waste our time on sales calls to people who aren't ready to invest in their digital marketing. 

Our closing rates have increased significantly, and we've filled our consulting practice with some amazing small businesses we love working with.

Do you want to be able to say that in your business? We can help you do that!

We took over 3 years of research, learning, and trial and error, and have created a completely streamlined system that is guaranteed to help you move up in Google Search results, drive more qualified website traffic, AND increase sales.

And the best part? You don't have to be an SEO expert (in fact you don't even need to know what SEO is) in order to get the same results we did.

Are you ready to grow your business in a sustainable way without spending thousands of dollars on advertising? 

Click here to learn more and watch a video about Big SEO For Small Businesses.

And to make this deal even sweeter? We've got a VERY special pricing deal going on that is only good for the next few hours! You'll get our full program (plus maybe even a few extra bonuses!) at a significantly reduced price! 

No seriously, it's a BIG money saver that is expiring tomorrow!

So click the link below and dive into one of the only SEO courses you'll ever need!

Budgeting for Advertising - How Much Should You Spend?
How much you should budget to spend on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and GoogleAdwaords.

Whenever we bring up the topic of digital advertising we always get the same question, over and over again. How much does it cost? This is a tough one to answer. Knowing how much to spend on your digital advertising is really dependent upon your business, time of year, and frankly, what you have to spend. The great thing about digital? Even the smallest budgets can succeed online, which is especially helpful for small businesses that are priced out of the more traditional options, like newspaper and TV.  We've pulled together some basic guidelines on what you should be prepared to spend if you really want to start seeing your online ads make a difference for you. Again, remember these are just general guidelines and should be adjusted to fit what you find works best for your individual business (testing is always important).

Facebook
The big kahuna. The main one. The platform everyone wants to be on. With an estimated 33.76 BILLION (that's right, billion with a "B") expected to be spent on Facebook ads in 2017, both local and national advertisers alike know that this is the place to be. However, with so many options available it can be hard to know exactly what you should be spending on each of the different types of campaigns.

  • Like Campaigns - While guaranteed to get you likes, it can be a little hard to know if the people liking your page are truly interested in your business. Keep these budgets small, starting around $50 for a 3 or 4 day run. See how they perform and go through the list of who liked your page to see if any seem "off" or "spammy". Then wait a few weeks to see if engagement has gone up or these new likes are paying off.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $50, Expected Cost Per Like: $1

  • Boosted Post - Again, jury is out on whether these are effective or not so keep the boosted posts to only those things that are truly important. Limited your boosting to your own fan base can be beneficial to ensure you reach all the fans that you just can't get to relying on organic reach alone. Save targeting people outside of that existing fan base (those that already like your page) for a more traditional FB advertisment.

Total Spent Per Boosted Post: $10-$30

  • Advertisement - For more traditional advertisements (whether they be static image or video ads) start small here and gradually increase your budget over the course of a few days. Studies show that throwing large amounts of money at your ad off the bat actually ends up costing you MORE per lead in the long run. Another benefit of this strategy is that you can test different ads and target groups slowly with less money and then increase spend on those that you find are working for you. Plan on hitting a target of at least $30 to $40 per day (this can go up to hundreds of dollars per day if your budget allows) and being about to sustain that for a minimum of 5-7 days to really see ad impacts.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign. 
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Instagram
Another Facebook owned platform, Instagram is quickly being indoctrinated into the FB advertising fold. While they haven't touched algorithms around what's appearing in Instagram newsfeeds (yet), it's getting harder and harder to reach new users and followers without the use of ads. If you're adding Instagram ads on to Facebook ads (which you can do right through the Facebook Ads Manager), plan on following a similar budget and strategy as your Facebook ads.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign.
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Pinterest
Ahh Pinterest! The underappreciated and underutilized advertising platform, for small businesses especially. With the common misconception that Pinterest advertising is way too expensive and out of reach, not enough small business are jumping on this bandwagon. But we're here to tell you, it's WAY more affordable than you think! There hasn't been any evidence of needing to "start small" in Pinterest like you do in Facebook, but if it's your first time running ads on the platform it's always better to try testing with a smaller budget first to see if it's something that works for you. Plan on about $20-$30 per day (but feel free to go up from there) and about $100 - $500 per campaign. 

Total Spent Per Campaign: $100 - $500, Expected Cost Per Click: $.25-$1

Google Adwords
Once the king of all online advertising, competition is fierce. Google is THE search engine with the majority of searches done within it, it's no wonder advertisers are clamoring to get their brand in on it. However, with this one we like to say, “buyer beware!". While it can be effective, it's taking increasingly more and more money to outbid competition. In addition, users are getting very savvy to knowing what are "ads" and what is real, organic content. Latest studies show that about 60-70% of people searching tend to skip past the ads altogether and jump right to organic search. Good news? 30-40% of people are still clicking so there is still value in the platform, just be prepared to expand your budget.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $500 - $5,000, Expected Cost Per Click: $2-$15+

What is SOV? - Display Advertising 101 pt. 2 of 2

Ahh, it's Wednesday again and that means another riveting edition of the Hub Digital Newsletter!

Listen - I know this stuff isn't fun. I get it. If you had wanted to learn about marketing, you would have gone to school for it. But here's the deal. You can't do the fun stuff, if you don't put in the marketing work. I know your passion is taking pictures, selling clothes, styling hair, or whatever else you decided to open your business around. But you can't continue to do that if no one is giving you money for it. How do you get money for it? You drive sales through marketing.

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Now yes, you can absolutely hire someone to do this for you (hence how I have a job). But I subscribe to the idea that even if I hire someone to do a job for me, I want to at least know what's going on. There's so much more power in knowledge and even if I'm not the one installing my cable box, it's important for me to be able to understand what the tech is doing with all those wires.

With that said, today we're moving on to Part. 2 in our Display Advertising 101 series. Last week we we discussed some more general display advertising terms. Today we're diving in to different buying philosophies and where your ad is going to appear on a website. Let's do this!

  • CPM - This stands for your Cost Per Thousand Impressions. When you purchase on a CPM basis you're buying impressions (or the number of times your ad is going to be seen, not necessarily clicked on). As an example, if you're buying an ad with a $10 CPM, you're paying $10 to reach 1,000 people. What is a good CPM? That's a little harder to define. Some sites state the national average CPM at around $1.90 while others go as high as $10.40. To me, a "good" CPM depends on the audience. Smaller, local sites may have CPM's much higher in the $10-$15 range. However, if you're a local business, you're reaching a much more targeted demographic. While you may be paying more to reach the same number of people, those people are much more likely to convert to sales. Here's my general rule of thumb. For large, bulk, national buys look for a CPM below $5. For anything local expect to pay around $10. However, use your gut here and weigh the importance of the audience you're reaching when considering CPM.
  • Pay-Per-Click - Instead of buying impressions, another pay you can purchase  ads is by Pay-Per-Click or PPC. With PPC ads you are only charged when someone actually clicks on your ad. This is usually seen in Paid Search platforms like Google Adwords. Now, you're probably saying, of course I only want to pay when someone clicks on my ad! Why wouldn't I choose to pay this way!? You're right, in some cases you can get more for less money with PPC ads. However, in some cases you won't. With PPC ads, you can't control how many impressions you get, and impressions are valuable. Remember last week how we talked about how low click-thru rates actually are, but how important impressions are for branding even if someone doesn't click? Well with PPC ads you can't control those. Let's say you want to spend $5 per day and you're bidding $1 per click. That means it takes 5 clicks before your daily budget runs out. Well for some reason your ad is having a really good day and you get those 5 clicks in only 50 impressions. While it's great that your ad is performing so well with clicks, you just paid $5 to get your ad seen only 50 times. Yes, 5 people clicked thru today, but you missed out on hundreds of people who would have seen your brand and may have purchased in the future. The other thing you can't control is who is clicking on your ads. Sometimes competitors can have this nasty habit of going through and clicking on ads to run up budget. Currently the national average for PPC ads is trending at about $1.58 per click. For a qualified lead this is nothing, but for a competitor who's just clicking away with no intention to buy this can add up fast.
  • SOV - The final way you can purchase ads is by SOV or Share-of-Voice. SOV means you're buying a percentage (or share) of the total number of impressions a site gets on monthly basis for a flat rate. As an example, any website's traffic will vary day to day. However, looking at the history of a particluar site you can see that on average this website has about 10,000 impressions per month (give or take a few depending on what's going on that month). You're going to purchase an ad for $200 per month for a 25% share of those impressions. That means for $200 you can expect about 2,500 impressions per month. A couple great things about SOV. The first is that you are paying a flat rate month after month. You know exactly what you're spending on this ad and don't have to worry about those costs skyrocketing if impressions go up. Speaking of impressions going up, if the site is having a great month you could score with a ton of extra impressions at no added cost for you. Just be aware that with good months comes bad months. Just like you won't pay more for a spike in impressions, If there is a downshift in impressions for the month, your rate won't change to reflect that.

    Now that you know the different ways you can purchase an ad, let's start talking about how to know where your ad is going to appear on a website.
  • ROS - ROS stands for Run-of-Site.  When you purchase an ROS ad you've purchased the same ad position on EVERY page of a website. This means that your ad will appear next to all pages and all content.
  • Sponsorship - Sponsorship ads are the exact opposite of ROS ads. Instead of appearing throughout the entire site, your ad is "sponsoring" one particular section. This is good if you're trying to reach a very targeted audience on a website. Real Estate agents for example may want to sponsor the "Homes" section on a news site as they are more likely to reach people interested in buying or selling a home than they would on on the "Politics" section.
  • Fold - This comes from an old newspaper term where "the fold" referred to a literal fold in the paper. In digital terms "the fold" refers to that invisible line that separates what is immediately visible to an audience as soon as a website loads from what isn't. All that content that appears right away without have to scroll or move around the screen is considered "Above-the-fold" while the content that appears after you scroll down is called "Below-the-fold". Naturally, above-the-fold ads usually cost more money as they load right in the reader's line of sight without them have to work for it. However, something to keep in mind is that some below-the-fold ads could be hidden gems. Think about your own reading behavior when you go to a news site or blog. You're there to read articles, not just site at the top of the page, right? You usually have to scroll down to read the article, and because it takes some time to read you're going to sit with that part of the page open for a little while. When buying ads on a blog or news site, consider below-the-fold ads that sit right next to the content where readers are spending all their time. Not only will your ad get more screen time, but it will most likely cost you less as well.

Well there you have it! You made it through all the boring stuff and technical terms. But now you can walk into any sales meeting and leave knowing what you're buying is going to help your business online. Good luck out there and I'll see you back here next week!

What does online advertising actually do?

As a former advertising sales rep, and current champion of digital for small businesses, I am constantly getting questioned on what online advertising actually does. I consistently hear things like "I put an ad online and didn't get one phone call" or "How do I know if this is really working?"

Since the digital environment entered the advertising playing field, the way marketers and small business owners quantify a return on their investment (ROI) has changed. No longer can you place an ad on a website (or in any other passive medium like radio, TV, print, etc) and expect the phone to start ringing or people to start walking through the door the next day. Consumers are getting smarter about their purchases. They understand the steps to take to see if you really do have the best product available, and will no longer take your word for.

Search engine giants like Google, Bing and Yahoo, review platforms like Yelp, BBB and Angie's List, and social media endorsements from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have completely changed the game on how we consume products. We no longer wait to find out about new products through commercials or figure out how they work by visiting the store and asking an associate.  Interested in a new gaming console? Google your different options, visit the maker's website to learn the specifications and features of each console, check out some reviews from other purchasers, and hit up social media to ask your friends their opinions instantly. Then order it directly from the manufacturer to be shipped within the week. You didn't need to leaf through the papers for advertisements or ask the Best Buy associate how they work. 

Does this mean that advertising is useless? Not at all. How would you have known that you wanted to buy a gaming console if there weren't ads reminding you that you wanted one? If all your friends had Playstation, how would you know that Xbox was another option for you to play? Passive display advertising is all about branding a product or service in the minds of the consumer. Is it ultimately going to make their final decision? Probably not. But it reminds them you exist and are there to fill their need when they have it.  That is called branding. Staying relevant and consistent in the mind of the consumer. Keep repeating the word "branding" over and over again when looking at your display ad results!

So how do you make display advertising work for you? Don't just rely on it alone as a singular way to bring in business. Combining more aggressive strategies like social media marketing, blogging, lead generation outlets and referral programs can help you bring together all your efforts on a unified front. Make display advertising a piece of the puzzle, but know that you need to put some time and effort into creating content, getting reviews and promoting your brand on a variety of outlets to really have a strong presence online.

Also, learn to change your expectations of display ad's performance. Instead of focusing on how many clicks you get (National average click-thru rate on banner ads is only .05%!) look at how many impressions your ad is getting. These translate to real life people seeing your brand and the product or service you can offer them. While you may not feel the immediate effects of a sale, these impressions are valuable! They are chances for people to see your name and what you have to offer, who may not have ever heard of you before.

To feel even better about those impressions, find an outlet where you can target your ad by demographics and geographic location. Now you're not just getting people looking at your brand, but people even more likely to purchase from you. Knowing realistically what display advertising can do for you business will help you make better purchasing decisions, and feel better about spending your hard earned dollars.

 

Amy Levesque is a young professional in Rhode Island, digital marketing expert and owner of Hub Digital L.L.C. Hub Digital offers digital marketing services for small to medium size businesses ranging from SEO, social media marketing, blogging and consulting.