Should we use DSA’s?

Account Director Charlie talks to us about Dynamic Search Ads (DSA’s).

Why should we use DSA’s?

Dynamic Search Ads, or DSA’s as they are known in the PPC community, are not exactly new, but they are such a valuable ad type that I had to share my love for them.

The latest figures from Google* state that 15% of everyday searches are new, and with 3.5 billion searches per day, that is a lot of brand new search queries. So what better ad format to add in than one that helps to discover and capture valuable queries that your keywords have missed? 

Unlike regular search ads which trigger ads based on keywords, DSA’s crawl your webpages to determine if search queries are relevant and if an ad should be shown. If we hit the jackpot and the smart bid strategy has determined that the intent signals are there, our ad will show. 

But, here’s the great part, the ad headline will be dynamically generated to be as close a match to the query as possible, based on the exact landing page or group of landing pages that we are targeting. 

What’s better than a super relevant headline? A super relevant headline that isn’t limited to 30 characters! Yes, that’s right, unlike expanded text ads and responsive ads, DSA headlines can be longer which makes them an excellent choice for products or services where a little more detail could get you the click.

Here are my top DSA tips:

1. Let your business goals help you to decide where in your account the DSA should sit

A well debated topic for PPC’ers is whether you put your DSAs in a stand alone campaign with some strong audience targeting, or as an ad group within an existing campaign. Ultimately, I believe that the business goals should be driving this decision – along with which smart bid strategy is being used.

Within established accounts, I am seeing strong results from adding a DSA ad group which targets a specific landing page, the result is often an ad group that is available to ‘sweep up’ any queries that the keywords have missed. This will be even more relevant with BMM keywords retiring and phrase match missing some of the longer tail keywords.

2. Don’t forget your search term report 

Not only can we add in negative keywords, as we do with standard ad groups, we can also exclude underperforming URL targets. To achieve performance with DSAs they do require proper management – don’t set and forget.

3. Multiple ads for best practice

Google still loves to test. Be sure to add in 3 expanded dynamic ads per ad group. If your ad groups are targeting categories of URLs, make sure your ads are relevant to the category and don’t forget your extensions! If certain pages or products start to perform, pull them into their own ad group and use the opportunity to tailor the descriptions further.

4. Great time savers 

DSAs are an excellent choice for websites with a large volume of products or experiences. During the setup process, Google will suggest categories from your website, if this option is too broad or doesn’t suit your account structure, you can choose to target specific pages or create rules e.g. URL contains /hats

5. Include negative targets

Just as we can add specific pages from a website that we want to target, we can also exclude pages, so take the time with your DSA set up to avoid showing ads for your website’s t&c’s, and other pages which are not focussed on achieving conversions.

6. Watch them closely

As with any new campaign or ad group, DSAs need watching closely at the start to ensure they don’t eat away at your budget. Even with all your due diligence, and negatives in place, DSAs can still throw some curveballs and show for some searches that you weren’t expecting…

My closing thoughts on DSAs

While they won’t work for all accounts, they are a great ad format to trial to help discover missed opportunities and to test landing pages such as blogs that you might not target with your regular keyword campaigns. 

*at the time of writing

Tanya’s Quest 79 – 79 ways to say I appreciate you

79 ways to say I appreciate you

Here at Launch Online we’re getting stuck into our Quest79 mission: setting ourselves a personal challenge involving the number 79.

When Jaye first set us the challenge she said it was about pushing ourselves, but also reconnecting with and rediscovering the joy in life. Bringing an extra sprinkling of motivation to our working days which are largely spent at home on our laptops.

It was the word reconnecting which got me thinking about reaching out to people I love as part of the challenge. I’ve had, let’s say, a complex relationship with technology since the pandemic hit. I don’t like to be on my device a lot in front of my toddler, and so often miss out on chats while they’re actually happening. When I finally get time to sit and look at my phone it can be overwhelming trying to respond and keep in touch with all the people I want to. When someone asks ‘how are you’ or ‘what’s happening’ I often don’t know what to say (every day is the same!). 

And don’t get me started on getting distracted by my extra chins and uncut hair on video calls.

This would be all well and good if we weren’t totally reliant on our devices to stay in touch with people at the moment – but we are. I saw Quest79 as an opportunity to celebrate my relationships and the amazing circle of people who surround me, even if I can’t be with them right now. So I decided to send 79 voicemails to friends and family by the end of February, sharing a happy memory I have of them.

I will be donating the £79 to a local charity called South London Cares https://southlondoncares.org.uk/home. They operate an amazing buddy system between older and younger neighbours who are feeling isolated.

A lot of people asked if I would be able to find 79 people to contact, which is a fair question! I am from a huge extended family, so it wasn’t too hard for me. In fact, there were some people I didn’t manage to include on the list which made me feel pretty fortunate (if any of you are reading, don’t take it personally! 79 is just a number…).

When I kicked this off on 16 Feb I thought I had loads of time. It was four or five people to contact a day. Then for various illness and childcare related reasons time ran away from me… I had some catching up to do! How would it be spending that concentrated time on my device? I actually found it really therapeutic. I didn’t have to stare at the screen to do it. It focused my attention on happy memories and I could talk through them at my own pace. I found myself laughing out loud, smiling fondly, and at one point even crying into the mouthpiece of my phone (sorry not sorry Leyla). 

But the best part of course was reading and hearing people’s reactions. One teacher friend said she stomped back to her desk after a bad morning, picked up her phone, heard my message and ‘just melted’. ‘Thanks for fitting me into the top 80 friends!’ said another friend who we will call Mr Sarcasm. Some have even suggested I think about a career which involves voice recordings – an unexpected, but potentially lucrative, development! 

I completed my voicemail challenge at 8.30pm on 28 February, saving my last voicemail for Jaye, who has been the leader I needed in this difficult reality. Talk about creating a welcoming, motivating and inspiring workplace. 

This isn’t the end of my Quest79 challenge. I’ll be taking part in a team activity with the rest of the Launch folks. Bring it on – if it’s anything like the first leg, it makes getting out of bed and starting work a whole lot easier. 

Launch Online shortlisted for Biddable Awards 2021

Launch is really excited to see that we have been shortlisted for two awards in the Biddable Media Awards 2021!

We are delighted to have been nominated by the judges in the Small Biddable Agency of the Year category (under 25 employees) and for the Travel / Leisure Campaign of the Year, specifically for our work with UK self catering business, Aria Resorts, to help guide the hospitality business through the turmoil of the pandemic and secure a vital sell-out summer season.

Founder of Launch Online, Jaye Cowle, said; “What a wonderful start to the year! I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team for the work they have put in over the past 12 months.”

The UK Biddable Media Awards recognise, celebrate, and reward the contribution that Biddable makes to shaping the future of advertising sales and media planning and to the overall success and profits of businesses.The 2021 Awards will be conducted through a live virtual event on Thursday 22 April. You can watch how we get on live here.

4 Reasons You Should Try Pinterest Ads

Account Manager Josh tells us 4 reasons you should try Pinterest Ads!

Pinterest has long been known for providing creative ideas, whether that’s related to home design, fashion, food or countless other topics with the image-led nature of the platform lending itself to innovation, imagination and ultimately inspiration. However, it still remains to be an under-utilised platform from an advertising perspective – here are a few reasons why you should consider adding Pinterest to your Paid Media strategy. 

1. More Than Just Social Media

Pinterest, by any definition (including Wikipedia’s), is a social media platform. Paid advertising on these types of channels is nothing new – I’m sure most people reading this blog would’ve at the very least either contemplated or even dabbled in some Facebook, Instagram or Twitter advertising. 

However, Pinterest operates in a slightly different way to those mentioned, in that it actually operates more like a search engine. Your home feed is made up of the interests you select when you set-up your Pinterest account, and is then added to by showing relevant pins depending on what you’ve been searching for and exploring on the app or website. 

Pinterest represents a unique position within Social Media compared to the other major players. Let’s take Facebook for example –  Now, I’m not knocking it as a platform for advertisers, it undoubtedly can lead to great results with the right combination of targeting & creatives, but Facebook’s primary function, in their own words, is to connect people and give people the power to create community. People can be inspired by Facebook ads they come across, but it’s not the reason why they use the service –  the opposite is true of Pinterest. People actively go on Pinterest to be inspired, so inspire them! 

2. Capture Users Early On

To give a bit of context to Point1, I’ll explain my own personal dealings with Pinterest. If you’re anything like me, picking paint to go on your wall is far from a simple task. Despite having watched a healthy amount of “Changing Rooms” as a child, it soon dawned on me that I don’t quite have the knack of putting together colours, furnishings and decoration in the same way that only a luminary of the industry such as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen can. 

That’s where Pinterest stepped in. 

At this stage, I wasn’t ready to be comparing prices, ordering samples or searching for specific shades. I just needed ideas, and where better to look than an app with a full, extensive gallery of them. 

Now as an advertiser, I was the perfect person to be targeting with ads. No preconceived ideas about what brands I was looking for, no loyalty to a specific provider, just someone completely new to the market, with an intent to purchase. At that point, a well placed, cleverly constructed ad could easily have set me on my way to buying, or at the very least had a great deal of influence over my final decision.

An advertiser’s dream right? Well luckily for us, there is a huge audience out there similar to me. It’s reported that 85% of ‘Pinners’ say Pinterest is where they go to start a new project. With over 450 million users, that’s a lot of relevant people you could be reaching there. 

In short, if your product or service is something that someone might look for on Pinterest and you aren’t being found on there, by the time your marketing kicks in on that user’s journey, you risk being a bit late to the party. When that user finally turns to Google (or Bing – people use it, although that’s for another blog!) and starts searching for that specific brand or shade, you could already be one step behind your competitors.  

3. Supplements other platforms 

Now, it’s really important to point out that this article is definitely not designed to make you want to switch off all of your other online channels and just focus on Pinterest – quite the opposite. Pinterest Ads are a fantastic supplement to your online efforts and not a replacement. 

As discussed in the previous point, advertising on Pinterest gives you the opportunity to capture relevant users at the first stage of their research. With the right strategy and budgets in place, this can lead to a positive trickle down-effect on your other channels. Brand awareness and recognition, which can be achieved with incredibly low CPMs available on Pinterest, will help lead to increased brand searches and website visits, boosting your efforts from a Paid, Organic and Direct perspective. The cheap clicks (Pin clicks are as low as 1p and 2p, with outbound clicks tending to range from 15p – 30p) will really help to boost your remarketing lists for both Google & Social properties too. 

You can take it upon yourself to be strategic here as well – if you’ve got your targeting right on Pinterest, why not create an audience on Google Analytics of users who have visited your site via Pinterest Ads and remarket to them with Display ads, similar to the pins they clicked through on, as they browse?

Tying Pinterest alongside your other activity is definitely the key to success and you should approach utilising it with a view of the full marketing picture, rather than looking at it as a stand-alone channel. 

4. Targeting Options

All of the above would be completely useless if Pinterest advertisers didn’t have the ability to specifically reach the most relevant users to the product or service they’re looking to push. 

Fortunately we have the ability to be laser-targeted with our approach. Pinterest Ads provide us with several ways to reach the desired audience and similarly to Google, these can be based on;

  • Locations – Whether you’re looking to reach a wide international audience, or you deliver products locally, Pinterest’s location targeting can help reach users in the right areas for you.

  • Demographics – You can show ads to only the most relevant sets of users, to very specific criteria.

  • Keywords – Reaching potential customers based on what they’re actively typing in on Pinterest – perfect right?! This is where Pinterest’s unique offering helps to set it apart from other Social channels such as Facebook.

  • Interests – Pinterest gives you the opportunity to reach out to users with interests as broad as ‘Travel’ or as niche as retirement celebration event planning. With such a huge variety available, you’ll be able to find the right type of interests for your product.

  • Audience Lists – Similarly to Facebook, Pinterest utilises a simple to set-up Pixel on your site, allowing you to retarget users who’ve already been on your site. As well as this, you can target those who’ve engaged with your pins, you can upload customer lists or you can take advantage of Pinterest’s ‘Actalike’ audience, which will use it’s learnings to target users who behave similarly to your existing customers.

  • Combination – None of those specific enough? No problem, combine them together and reach only the most likely to convert users for your offering. Be careful on going too niche though, similar to Facebook, Pinterest advise on a ‘broader is better’ policy, whereby machine learning will help to decide where your budget is best placed. 

In summary, Pinterest probably isn’t a major part of your online marketing strategy at the moment, but should it be? Granted, it probably won’t be the perfect solution for all advertisers, but if you’ve got great images and are looking to reach those hard-to-find, new and relevant users, it could certainly be your next platform to trial. 

Embracing Pure Broad Match

Senior Account Manager Elliot talks to us about embracing broad-match key words

So, you want to use pure broad? Or, at least, Google wants you to. 

Google Ads’ ever-evolving recommendations section recently started to place an emphasis (and pretty big opti-scores) on replacing broad match modifier keywords within campaigns using smart bidding with *GASP* pure broad match keywords.

Now, rewind to as recently as 6 months ago and the thought of using pure broad match gave most PPCers the heebie-jeebies. Pure broad has always prioritised reach over relevance, with a search query not really having to match up to your keyword for your ad to be triggered. 

For example, the keyword ‘black shoes’ could be triggered by the search term ‘black dress’. That’s ok if you sell both, but if you’re a shoe shop then you’re in trouble, especially as the looser reigns of pure broad means that it attracts a lot more traffic and therefore a lot more spend. That’s a recipe for a decimated budget and poor ROI right there.

However, in an age of smart bidding where the focus is more on query intent, we’re now being advised that the coast is clear – pure broad is safe to use, just as long as you couple it up with a smart bidding strategy. 

Of course, there was, and still is, a lot of skepticism around this claim. Yes, smart bidding has been revolutionary for PPC – I don’t have a single account that doesn’t utilise it – but using pure broad would still take a lot of testing and a lot of convincing. Lucky for us Google stepped in and forced our hand by not only dangling a carrot in the form of big opti-scores for adopting pure broad, but also announcing the end of broad match modifier (RIP BMM).

After a few days of contemplation, and seeing pure broad recommendations in EVERY account, my curiosity got the better of me. I set up some pure broad keyword experiments in a couple of campaigns running on maximise conversions in a lead-gen account. I informed the rest of the team I’d pressed ahead, to which I received this image in response:

Braveheart

That’s me, Pure Broad Braveheart

Anyway, the juicy stuff, how did it perform? It’s been 6 weeks (at time of writing) since I set up my first pure broad experiment, splitting traffic 50/50 between pure broad and modified broad match. Here are the results:

Not bad, hey? As expected pure broad has more impressions and a lower clickthrough rate on both campaigns as it’s eligible for way more searches. The important metrics, though, are in the conversion columns and pure broad wins nearly every time. Where it fell down on conversion rate in campaign 2 it more than made up for with a higher volume of conversions and lower CPA.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not going to pretend that pure broad with smart bidding works every time. We are running several experiments across different accounts, in different sectors, and using different bid strategies – the results so far are mixed. In some cases the experiments are on par with the above example, in other cases there’s not much in it and in a small handful of cases the experiment really hasn’t taken off at all.

FURTHER DISCLAIMER: None of these experiments have run for as long as the above example so there is plenty of time for the strategies to learn and turn things around. 2 weeks into the initial experiment I was having second thoughts as the pure broad campaigns were nosediving. 4 weeks later they’re by far the better performers.

This is new to all of us and it very much feels against the grain of PPC best practice, but the only way to learn how to work in this way is to get stuck in.

However, for those of you who are still curious or nervous about using pure broad, I’ve listed some tips below on how best to embrace it and become a pure broad ‘Braveheart’.

Think About Your Goal & Speak To Your Client First

How strict is your CPA target? Are you after sales/leads volume or a good ROI/CPA? Feedback from clients suggests that lead quality will dip to begin with when running pure broad, which doesn’t come as a surprise. A few STRs and a number of negatives later and the lead quality returns to normal, but it’s best to speak to your client first to pre-warn them. The same goes for e-commerce – expect a higher CPA/lower ROI to begin with.

Bid Strategy

We’ve found that maximise conversions has by far been the best strategy to utilise pure broad with thus far, most likely as you are suppressing budget so ending up with more conversions for your spend. More open-ended bid strategies like Target CPA and Target ROAS, where spend tends to be more uncapped, has had some questionable results so take care if using this strategy.

Run An Experiment

Don’t accept the changes in recommendations straight off the bat – not only will this make analysis a little more difficult, it will also DELETE all of your BMM keywords and replace them with pure broad. Instead, set up a 50/50 traffic split experiment. Again, you can do this within the recommendations.

Give It Time

I’ve already touched on this, but it’s important to give as much time as possible to the experiment to get a more accurate set of results. This depends on budget but I would recommend at least 6 weeks so you can fully overcome the 2 week dip that I experienced.

Negatives, Negatives, Negatives!

An important one. Every PPCer’s initial fears about using pure broad is the sheer amount of search term reports you’d need to carry out in order to add negative keywords and reduce wasted clicks. So far I’ve found that you need to be hot on STRs for the first week, checking in daily, but after that the necessity for negatives begins to diminish. I’m still running STRs more often than usual but I’m not overwhelmed by them. Something to note is that there seems to be far more competitor terms appearing in STRs due to them matching intent. Depending on your competitor bidding strategy you might want to keep your eyes peeled for these.

Audit Your Ad Copy

You will get unwanted clicks from using pure broad, so other than negatives, how else can you limit them? Specific ad copy, that’s how. Include key information such as pricing, location, delivery etc to try and stave off irrelevant or unqualified clicks.

Focus On Conversion Metrics

When analysing performance it’s easy to get caught up in click data. Impressions will go through the roof and your CTR will fall when using pure broad. However, the proof is in the pudding, or the conversion columns in this case. Obviously don’t completely ignore click data, but concentrate more on the conversion columns to judge just how well your experiment is going.

Top 12 Free Digital Marketing Resources

Account Director Dids talks to us about her top 12 Digital Marketing Resources:

At Launch we are an inquisitive and knowledge-thirsty bunch. We like to know what’s going on in the marketing industry, but more than that, continual learning and experimentation are pretty central to what makes us good at what we do.

Sure, some of that knowledge is paid for, like attending industry conferences to learn about cutting edge developments. But, there is a lot of free information and inspiration out there, for which, all you need is time and bandwidth. Here are my top 12 free* resources for digital marketers, in no particular order. Some of these resources are people; there is a wealth of freely available posts and video content by, or featuring them.

  1. Avinash Kaushik
  2. Search Engine Land
  3. Purna Virji 
  4. Frederick Vallaeys
  5. PPC Town Hall
  6. How I Built This
  7. Search Engine Round Table
  8. Kirk Williams 
  9. BBC 
  10. Les Binet
  11. MOZ
  12. Google Partners

1. Occam’s Razor – Avinash Kaushik

https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/

Back in the day, one of the ways that today’s ‘more seasoned’ digital marketers first learnt about web analytics attribution – probably the most important concept for any self-respecting digital marketer to grasp –  is from Avinash Kaushik. He bears the title ‘Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist’ like it is a crown; and so he should. He is a prolific writer with two books about analytics. Occam’s Razor is Avinash’s blog site, and if you are inclined to think that analytics is a dry topic, then Occam’s Razor will change that.

2. Search Engine Land

searchengineland.com

A one-stop-geek-shop for search engine marketing (SEM) news. Search Engine Land is the go-to resource, whether it’s a Google algorithm update, or Facebook is testing a new advertising feature, Search Engine Land will cover it. The site is often the first to receive and publish news from Google, making it essential reading for all of the Launch team, and any digital marketers who care about leading the pack and reacting fast in competitive industries. 

Founded by Danny Sullivan, who is also an advisor to Google’s search division, other notable contributors to the publication include search engine optimisation (SEO) guru Barry Schwartz, Ginny Marvin (paid media) and George Nguyen (all things Google).

3. Purna Virji

https://www.linkedin.com/in/purnavirji/

A woman with one foot in the future. You thought that Google was the only innovator in search tech? Think again. Purna Virji spent five years evangelising Microsoft’s advertising technology as Senior Manager of Global Engagement. She speaks about marketing all over the world, and covers topics from artificial intelligence to the psychology of marketing. When you want to know what’s coming next, seek out Purna.

4. Frederick Vallaeys

https://www.linkedin.com/in/frederickvallaeys

Fred’s role at Google was to be their first AdWords Evangelist; he was one of the first 500 Google employees. He spent 10 years there, literally building AdWords, and he now runs his own pay per click (PPC) software company Optmyzr, as well as being an influential author and speaker. A true technologist, Fred’s in-depth knowledge of Google’s advertising products makes him something of a guru and industry leader, and he is generous in sharing that knowledge.

5. PPC Townhall

https://www.optmyzr.com/information/ppctownhall/about/

When the pandemic started to seriously skew our clients’ advertising last year (and not all in a bad way!), Fred Vallaeys started a regular webcast with a guest panel of marketing experts. The broadcasts became an invaluable window onto how other agencies and advertisers were fairing and reacting to the unprecedented and unpredictable world of pandemic marketing. We love PPC Town Hall for its frank discussions, humour and panelists willing to give their time and advice for free. Panelists include Susan Wenograd, Matt Van Wagner, Kirk Williams and Anu Adegbola. You can find the episodes on YouTube, naturally.

6. How I Built This With Guy Raz

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

A brilliant choice for the marketer’s commute (you remember, back when you used to have to get a train or car to work?), How I Built This is a series of podcasts hosted by NPR in which Guy Raz talks in each episode, to a different American entrepreneur or innovator about how their remarkable achievements came to be, and the often stormy journey to success. Guests have included the founders of Wayfair Niraj Shah & Steve Conine, director M Night Shyamalan, Fitbit’s founder James Park, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky and Shopify’s Tobias Lütke – the list is very long. In fact, the series has broader appeal than just to marketers; anyone with an interest in business should try it out.

For a British-grown version, Launch’s founder Jaye recommends Conversations of Inspiration hosted by Not On The High Street founder Holly Tucker.

7. Search Engine Roundtable

seroundtable.com

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more geeky… Search Engine Roundtable turns the nerdometer up to eleven in its dedication to SEM discussion. It distills the most important news and SEM forum threads, and is widely respected for its depth of information, particularly on technical SEO. The site was founded by the aforementioned Barry Schwartz who is probably the best known and most prolific authority on SEO.

8. Kirk Williams

https://twitter.com/PPCKirk

Based in Montana, Kirk runs a micro-agency dedicated to PPC. He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero three times in a row, and having seen him speak at numerous conferences and webcasts, we can vouch for his contribution. Kirk is particularly knowledgeable about Google Shopping and vocal in the discussion about data transparency and Google’s increasing control over elements of paid search at the cost of knowledge for the advertiser. When Google releases a new feature, the community looks to Kirk for his opinion.

9. The BBC

https://www.bbc.co.uk/

Well, actually it could be any legitimate news organisation – I don’t want to start a debate about the BBC and bias! 

If marketers don’t keep up with the news, then they won’t be well placed to react quickly for clients affected by things that are out of their and our control. There’s nothing like a global pandemic for changing the search behaviour of internet users and consumers, and advertisers the world over have had to adapt quickly, or suffer the consequences of inaction or sloth. We actually won a major award for our work with Aria Resorts. Jus’ sayin’.

One of our clients was recently interviewed on national television, so we made sure that any Google searches on his name would ensure that his business’ ads would be in prime position.

10. Les Binet

https://www.linkedin.com/in/les-binet-9bb7453

He is Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDDB, and he has some seriously interesting and inspiring views on short-termism and the dangers of neglecting to nurture a brand through advertising. If you want to know why you should probably be spending more on brand awareness than you are currently, then watch or read Les Binet.

11. MOZ

https://moz.com/

Founded by Rand Fishkin in 2004, MOZ was originally a blog and discussion forum where the world’s top SEOs shared ideas and research. These days, MOZ monetises it’s gargantuan website with a set of SEO products, however it also hosts excellent free resources which should be your first port of call if you are interested in SEO at any level. The Beginners Guide to SEO is a thorough and reliable source for newbies, while the Learning Centre, SEO Q&A and Blog constitute an enormous free resource for even the most sophisticated SEOs. There is nowhere which comes close to rivalling MOZ for its wealth of technical SEO information and discussion brought together in one place.

12. Google Partners

What’s that you say? You’re not surprised that I’m endorsing Google? The truth is that in the last 12 months, my already healthy skepticism of Google has been tested to an almost unhealthy limit! As an agency and as individuals, at Launch we are driven by our clients’ needs, and those will always take priority. However, as a Premier Partner agency, we are supported by an account manager and two strategists at Google, and we (and our clients) benefit from this relationship in a number of ways. We get access to betas which other agencies don’t. The betas for new features in Google Ads are, more often than not, rolled out to other advertisers months after agencies like us get to try them. That means that any benefits from the features – be that increased clicks, or improved conversion rates – allow our clients to get a competitive advantage in the ad space. The depth of our account manager’s knowledge of Google products is impressive, and we highly value her advice, not just on features, but also marketing strategy.

*OK, so I said that all of my resources were free, which isn’t completely accurate. Google Partners support is not available to all marketers, and has to be earned; the currency is quality of management of our clients’ Google Ads accounts.

There are many more resources which the Launch team and I use, and too many to mention in detail, but here are a few more which the team mentioned when canvassed:

  • Tim Ferris interviewing Seth Godin
  • Search Engine Journal
  • Brainlabs
  • PPC Hero
  • Wordstream
  • Marketing Forum (who recently interviewed Launch’s owner Jaye)
  • Analytics Mania
  • Clix Marketing blog
  • Simo Ahavan’s blog

Quest 79 – Our company challenge to inspire ourselves and those around us

After our Lockdown 2.0 team desk cycling challenge for FORCE Cancer charity, we were looking for another initiative to keep the team positive, active and inspired. After listening to a Clubhouse discussion, we stumbled upon Quest 79 and our team challenge was found!

What is Quest79

Explorer and Paralympic athlete Karen Darke is the founder of Quest 79 Inspirational Challenges. She feels her journey & purpose through life has been uniquely connected to gold – the 79 in Quest79 comes from the fact that 79 is the atomic number for gold. Plus her gold medal in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was the 79th medal for her country!

Originally Karen launched Quest 79 to raise £79K for The Spinal Injuries Association charity, whilst cycling across 7 continents in 9 rides on her handbike. This has grown into something bigger, Quest79 is about making the world a brighter place while also helping to find your inner gold.

Karen says “We aim to inspire thousands of young people around the world to believe in themselves and their dreams, and to embrace our message around ICE: Inner Gold; Connection; Environment. Being brave enough to seek our inner gold, connect with others, and respect and embrace our environment, then personal change can lead to local and global change.”

The Quest79 Challenge asks people to…

“Take a moment, decide what you love or what you’d like to change…and create your own unique Quest 79 project. Then when you’re ready with a mix of excitement with a bit of fear and the question ‘Can I really do this?’ then register your Quest and let your adventure begin!”

Embracing the “Inner Gold, Connection & Environment” we have challenged each of our team to come up with their own challenges inspired by Quest 79. Some are choosing to cycle 79 miles, run 79km, do 79 random acts of kindness.

As a company, Launch Online is also giving each team member £79 to spend on something which embraces the ICE challenge, whether it is a learning course, giving to a charity, reading 79 books or something similar.

Our Quest79 launched on 16 February (7+9=16!). We’ve already started our Quests, follow our journey on our social media to track our progress!

The Team Challenges: 

Read all about Tanya’s challenge here

How much should you spend on Facebook ads?

How much to spend on Facebook (& instagram) ads is a question we get asked a lot and the answer obviously will depend on your industry, your audience and your margins.

Here’s a 6 step approach to help you understand what your Facebook & Instagram ad spend could be:

Step 1: What are your objectives?

Before you start any advertising, you need to know why you are doing it. What is the purpose of Facebook Ads, what do you want to achieve from it? If your objective is to increase awareness, your strategy and costs may be very different to an objective of generating sales. 

Step 2: What are your existing costs? 

Here are some important numbers you need to know:

  • Current cost per lead/sale/event – what is the current cost to get your customer? You might even want to split this out between a cost per unique sale, cost per customer, cost per event (e.g newsletter sign up, contact form etc). This will help you understand what your current costs are so that when you start advertising, you have something to aim for.
  • Website conversion rate? What is your current website conversion rate from different channels? This will help in understanding how many website visitors you need in order for a user to convert (e.g  sign up to a newsletter, make a purchase, contact you etc)

Step 3: Who is your audience?  

Nope, it’s not everyone! Come up with personas of your target audience, who are they, what do they do, what are their interests? This is going to help you build audiences and discover the size of potential prospects in the Facebook audiences tool. Your budget is going to impact how big your Facebook audiences are, for example if your budget £5 a day, you’re not going to effectively be able to go after millions of people.

There is a metric called ‘frequency’ on social ads and this is the average times someone has seen your ad and this directly correlates to your budget and your audience size. You’re going to want someone to see your ad at least a couple of times for them to take an action, in order for this to happen, you need enough budget for the size of the audience. When building your audience, Facebook will give you estimates of reach and you can start doing some modelling on how much budget you think you will need to get a desired frequency. 

Step 4: What is your existing marketing budget?  

When it comes to Facebook advertising, you could spend £1 a day if you wanted to right up to millions of pounds so you need a rough idea of what your budget will be.

To help with this, you may have some targets to aim for. Let’s say your aim was to generate at least 150 sales from Facebook advertising.

Although it’s difficult to know exactly what your CPA’s will be if you have not advertised on the platform before, by having some figures from step 2, you can come up with some rough costs to start with.

Here’s an example:

  1. Sales target is 150 units
  2. Current website conversion rate is 3% from paid activity
  3. Current average cost per click is £0.50 (if you don’t know this, research some industry averages)
  4. In order to get 100 sales you therefore need 5,000 visitors (Visitors/conversion rate = sales)
  5. Ad spend = £2,500 (£0.50 x 5,000)
  6. CPA = £16.60 (£2,500/150)

The above figures are a very rough guide, but it will help you if you’re struggling to know what to start with. Facebook advertising fluctuates depending on the time of year and your costs will differ depending on quality of creative and overall product.

Step 5: Don’t expect results straight away  

You shouldn’t expect results straight away, it will take time to test different creatives, audiences and objectives to get your desired result. You shouldn’t edit a campaign in the first 7 days of it launching, this is when Facebook ‘learns’ so don’t panic after the first 24 hours. Give it time. 

You also need to consider your frequency levels – if your campaign is struggling to get a frequency higher of 1 and you wanted at least 2, perhaps give it more budget or reduce the audience size.

It’s also important to note that your remarketing audiences (e.g. people that have been to your website, people that know you or have purchased from you before) will have a lower CPA than prospecting audiences.

Our advice is always to split these audiences out. Have separate campaigns for remarketing and prospecting. This will allow you to monitor the cost per sale for each type of audience.

Step 6: It’s not that straight forward

Attribution – every advertisers nightmare! It’s rare that a user will see a Facebook Ad, click on it and buy off you straight away. There are many different touch points now, as highlighted in Jaye’s blog here.

Additionally, with the recent IOS privacy changes, discussed here, Facebook attribution could become even harder to analyse so remember to not look at social advertising on its own, it’s part of a bigger picture, working together with your other channels.