Category Archives: DIGITAL MARKETING

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Best tips to get an effective Google Adwords Campaign

Category : Google Ads

The key to increasing sales with Google Ads lies in testing and optimization. But where to start? Whether you are a new store owner or a seasoned advertiser, there are a number of must-test Google tips you should be implementing in your optimization strategy.

Up Your Negative Keyword Game

Negative keywords are one of the most powerful elements of your Google Ads campaigns. Although often overlooked by novice Google Ads advertisers, negative keywords ensure that you’re eliminating searchers that aren’t relevant to your products and niche. The three key benefits of using negative keywords are that they:

Keep ROIs on point, as they prevent spending money on keywords where you won’t get a good return
Ensure searchers are only shown ads that are relevant to what they are searching for
Increase the likelihood of more targeted traffic, which in turn increases conversion potential
Negative keywords are one of the first optimization steps you should take to improve the performance of your campaigns or ad groups.

To increase sales from your Google Ads, you want to test adding negative keywords to campaigns or ad groups that have poor metrics. This includes ads that have low CTRs or your high-cost ads that are yielding few or no conversions.

Finding Negative Keywords

There are three ways you can discover possible negative keywords for your campaigns:

– Use Google’s autocomplete feature to point to the relevance, or lack of relevance, of your keywords.

– Use Google to search for the keywords you’re advertising with or want to test, to see who is advertising with those keywords as well as what organic search results come up. For example, you may be considering glasses as a good search term for your homeware product, but it is more likely to bring you a lot of people looking for eyeglasses and thus negatively affect your CTRs.
negative keywords affect search

– Use keyword research tools such as SEMrush or Kparser

Assess what search terms are showing your adverts and tune out irrelevant searches through keyword search terms and negative keyword management.

Monitor what phrases people are searching for that click through on your advert, but you may not have considered. Add these terms to your keyword list, or if they are not relevant then add them to the negative keyword list to prevent your ad showing. Adding negative keywords help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. Make sure you prepare a Negative keyword list for your campaign from the start too, what type of visitor do you not want to attract?

For example, if you are not wanting job hunters consider adding job, jobs and apprentice to your negative keyword list.

Find this on the new UX: Left hand side panel: Keywords – Tab: Search Terms – Tab: Negative Keywords

Spread the impressions around

In addition to collecting enough data, you also need to make sure your data is properly distributed among your ads. The temptation is to use the AdWords default option to “optimize for clicks,” but doing this might cause more traffic to go to certain ads over others. In the first stages of optimizing, it’s more important to spread out clicks so you give all ad variations a fair shot. Set ads in new campaigns to “rotate indefinitely.”

Block bad Display Network placements

The Display Network is a great source of cheap, high-volume traffic. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying for a ton of clicks that don’t convert into leads and sales.

If your Display Network CTR is suffering, try running a Placement report in Google AdWords. This report will show which Display Network websites are showing your ads, as well as metrics such as impressions and conversions from each of those sites. Identify which websites don’t send converting traffic and block them in your campaigns. Oftentimes, you’ll find these websites have little to do with the goods and services you’re marketing.

Google Adwords Campaign

Stretch Your Budget With Long Tail Keywords

Another way to refine your campaigns to ensure you are getting more targeted traffic that converts is to test and add long tail keywords. Long tail keywords mean less competition and a higher chance of converting, and even though they are seen as ‘unpopular’ they can lower CPCs while increasing sales. In one ahrefs study of 1.9 billion keywords, they found that 29% of keywords with 10k searchers per month consist of three words or more.

You can find long tail keywords with the help of either Google’s autocomplete, or ahrefs or other keyword research tools. However, you also want to look at your current organic traffic data to find possible long tails people are using to get to your products that you haven’t thought about.

There is one additional approach worth outlining here specifically, and that’s using sites like Answer the Public to find questions people are asking. Questions are a great way of using long tail keywords to your advantage.

Always split test new ads

A good online advertising strategy is always evolving. Riding the performance of a single high-performing ad is only a recipe for temporary success. Split testing at least two ads per ad group is essential for maintaining success and staying ahead of the curve.

Early on in your campaign, don’t waste time split testing ads that are just slight variations of each other. Instead, write ads that employ different sales tactics. Try one ad that touts a benefit of what you’re selling, then another that mentions your limited-time sale. You can also write ads that appeal to emotions using simple, powerful words such as “imagine” and “discover.”

Don’t instantly give up on ads that you’re split testing. Go through your standard steps of optimization. That said, don’t hesitate to shut down a struggling ad and replace it with something completely new.

Audit Your Keywords and Remove Duplicates

As you’re growing your Google Ads campaign list while optimizing and adding keywords, it’s common for even experienced advertisers to forget to remove duplicate keywords.

Why is it so important to stay on top of your keywords and remove duplicates? Because they impact your Quality Score while eating up your budget unnecessarily. If you’re bidding on the same keyword more than once, both are submitted to auctions and thus you’re essentially competing with yourself and unnecessarily increasing CPCs.

That’s not to say there aren’t instances where you should bid on duplicate keywords. Duplicates are effective when:

– Bidding on the same keywords that will be used for different placements, search and display ads.
– Using different match types for duplicate keywords.
– Ads are segmented to serve difference locations; you would then bid on the same keyword in each campaign that services a different place.

Read more How to increase your sales by Google Ads


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How to make your Facebook Ad Campaign successful

All the ads within each Facebook ad campaign will have the same objective, but you will have the ability to change the audience, budget, dates, image, and creative in the ad sets within each individual campaign. Each campaign must have its own objective, but don’t worry, you can set up multiple Facebook ad campaigns to help you reach your Facebook advertising goals.

Lookalike Audiences from Custom Audiences

With your Custom Audiences in place, you’ll have a base from which to start building Lookalike Audiences. As Facebook Ads expert Rick Mulready points out, Lookalike Audiences are more lukewarm than super cold. For small business owners who are having a difficult time reaching the masses or generating new leads, creating a Lookalike Audience from a Custom Audience list or an existing customer list is a great way to reach new people who have attributes in common with people you already know convert on your ads.

Think about your buying cycle when using Custom Audiences.

For example, for a luxury furniture company, it would make sense for them to retarget an audience for a longer period of time; it might take someone a couple of weeks or months to hem and haw over a sofa before purchasing it. For lower-priced products, it might make more sense to retarget audiences within a shorter amount of time (like several days or just a couple of weeks) after they browsed products.

“If you’re running a site-wide sale for a short period of time, try running a retargeting ad for that duration with a higher budget for maximum reach during the sale. Make sure to mention the sale and add a nice call to action in the copy.”

Basic Custom Audiences

The first Custom Audiences you should build are those based on your buyers’ journey—the stages your audience moves through to become customers. At the first stage, they recognize there is a problem that needs to be solved. At the second stage, they are considering the different options they have for solving that problem. At the third stage, they are deciding which purchase they should make to solve the problem.

To create a Facebook Custom Audience using this approach, separate the most important pages on your website into three groups:

– Cold: Visitors to these pages are least likely to make a purchase today
– Hot: Visitors to these pages are most likely to make a purchase today
– Warm: Visitors to these pages are somewhere in between.

You can then build three Custom Audiences to whom you can serve the right ads at the right time. For example, you might show your hot audience your special offer of the week, while you might show your cold audience a branding or process video that encourages them to ask more questions about your service.

Facebook Ad Campaign

Adjust the way you review performance & prospecting ads.

As it differs from retargeting ad performance. Retargeting ads are shown to a “warmer” audience that has already browsed products on your site at some point. On the other hand, prospecting ads are shown to new “colder” audiences who may not know about your brand. It may take a long period of exposure for that prospective customer to learn about the brand, educate themselves about the product and ultimately make a purchase. For this reason, it’s important not to simply focus on conversions, but to measure the success of prospecting ads by looking at metrics such as number of add-to-carts, the number of website clicks, and average daily click-through rates.

Don’t Just Rely on the Button for Website Traffic

Facebook ad objectives should be something easy for users to do, and something they’ll actually want to do.

One way of accomplishing both of these things is by including a link to your website/landing page in the ad copy.

Sure, the call to action button will direct users there, but the button can really feel “ad-like.” What I mean by that is just about everyone knows if a Facebook post has “Sponsored” on it and a call to action button, then it’s an ad.

Users, just like yourself, don’t like to be advertised to and forced to do something. We’d rather make the choice ourselves, knowing where we’ll end up.

Psychologically, it can feel more comfortable for users to make the decision on their own to leave Facebook by simply clicking on the link within the ad copy. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into and they’re choosing to go to that destination, versus clicking on “Learn More” not knowing where they’ll actually go.

Aside from the “feelings” side to this reasoning, adding the URL in the ad copy also gives the user the option to act quickly. If they like what they’ve read and want to respond, give them the option to do so without having to get all the way down to the button.

Avoid Using the Color Blue in Ad Creative

Facebook’s primary color is blue — #3b5998 to be exact. Using images and videos that have blue tones in your ad campaigns isn’t going to help your ad stand out in the News Feed.

By the way, I’m not referring to a solid blue image with text. I’m talking about anything that has a blue hue to it such as a sky background, ocean waves, or a person standing in front of a blue wall. These blue tones will make the ad blend in with the News Feed, which is exactly what we don’t want an ad to do.

Instead of focusing on blue tones, try using colors that match your brand especially if they’re vivid colors like orange, green, and red.

Orange is blue’s complementary color so not only will it stand out, but it will look darn good in the News Feed.

Remarket Based on Website Activity

Once you’ve begun driving traffic to your website and building Custom Audiences, it’s time to formulate offers to cater to these visitors based on their activity on your website. As we stated above, one way to start this is to make offers to your three core Custom Audiences based on the pages they viewed when they visited your website.

There’s a lot more to web activity targeting than just pages viewed, however. One thing to consider, if you have a reasonably capable developer or even some programming chops of your own, is to target based on Custom Pixel Events. A Custom Event might be something like who clicked on a button, who added an item to their cart, or who viewed more pictures of an item.

With some creative thinking, you can come up with actions that indicate a person is ready to become a customer, and with the right Custom Events, you can target the people who take those actions.

Read more Facebook Ad guide for beginners


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All the best Facebook advertising tricks for small business

Structuring a Facebook ads campaign for success includes determining your campaign objective, determining your target audience, creating an ad plan, setting up your campaign, ad sets, and ads on Facebook, and looking at your ads’ metrics to determine which ads are helping you reach your goals. If you want to get the most out of advertising on Facebook but don’t quite know how to run a successful Facebook ads campaign, this post is for you.

Start targeting your Facebook ads on a Thursday.

When it comes to lookalike ads, it takes Facebook a day or so to find an audience that looks the most like your visitors/buyers and to start targeting those who are most likely to engage with the ad. I’ve spoken with several Facebook ad experts who suggest starting campaigns on Thursday so you’ll be ready to target the right people – in the most optimized fashion – over the weekend.

Set Up Your Pixel

If you aren’t using the Pixel, you are throwing money away. Even the most liberal of estimates suggests that less than 2% of people end up converting upon the first exposure to an ad, and if you’re just starting out, you’re likely to see an even lower percentage.

The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that gets placed on your website and lets you know what actions your website visitors (who have arrived there from your ad) are taking. You can then segment these visitors based on their behaviors and retarget them separately, catering the content more specifically to each group.

You can use Pixel data to create several types of Custom Audiences, but we’ll first start with the basics.

Use Lookalike audiences & ad demographic: Location.

Interested in using buyer Lookalike campaigns? Narrow down the ad demographic to ‘location. When doing this, your Source Audience should include at least 1,000 people (but more is better). Many of our customers simply choose a target country and let the Facebook algorithms work their magic to find an audience closest to their actual buyers. Facebook typically does not suggest adding demographic information (like interests, gender, or age) for buyer Lookalike ads as this can hinder the process of finding the most accurate lookalikes. Take a look at your Facebook Audience Insights to double check your LAL’s.

Stock Videos Are Better than No Videos

Tired of hearing that you need to create videos but have no idea where to begin? You aren’t alone.

Not every business has the time or capability to make videos at the drop of a hat for a Facebook advertising campaign. Yet we all know how important video creative is for social media these days.

A video on Facebook receives on average 135 percent more organic reach than a Facebook photo. Photos used to be the most engaging type of creative on social media, but video has quickly surpassed images and is now the thing.

Remarket Based on Video

Another way to target your Facebook ads is based on how much time users spent viewing your video advertisements. (Not running video ads? It’s time to start. Video is quickly becoming the superior way to advertise on the internet, and it’s already the preferred way for most people to consume information.)

The good news is, it’s easy to get started with video, even if you only use your smartphone for shooting. With your video message running, you’ll be able to retarget an audience based on how much of the video they watched, gearing longer form or sales-oriented videos to your more engaged viewers, while serving more informational or branding-based content to viewers who disengaged but might still be in your target audience.

Facebook advertising tricks

Optimize your CPC, average ad spending and relevance score.

Once your ads are running, don’t just focus on ROAS. Take a close look at metrics such as CPC (cost per click), average spend and relevance score. You can also check to see how much exposure you’re generating by looking at reach (in Business Manager), clicks, impressions, and by calculating CTR. All of this information can help you compare the current ad you’re analyzing with results of similar ads you’ve run in the past.

Design an Ad Your Audience Will Be Attracted To

I know, seems like a common sense type of tip, but it’s actually one of the biggest tips people forget about. Facebook even offers this in their very black and white “Creative Tips” because it’s so important for advertisers to focus on.

Not only does your ad copy need to speak to your demographic, but your imagery and video, too. Let’s dissect Facebook’s example.

To the left, you’ll see an ad for a restaurant that focuses on a cocktail. This ad is targeting a younger, millennial type of audience that most likely has a 9-to-5 job and enjoys going out with coworkers at the end of the day for a drink. This is a very specific type of person, even though we can probably all relate, and the ad is created just for that part of the restaurant’s demographic.

The photo to the right is by the same restaurant but is targeting their older demographic, the portion of their customer base that comes in just for the food. If the restaurant had used the same cocktail photo to attract that older audience, say 50+ years old, they may have turned the audience away by looking too much like a bar atmosphere and not a restaurant.

It’s quite rare for a business to only have one profile of a customer. This is why it’s so important to create multiple ads, each speaking to your different customers.

Work with Facebook ad strategies for the holidays.

Retail-friendly holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Fathers day, Mothers day and Valentine’s day have one thing in common: they’re prime time to increase ecommerce sales. Prepare for the spike in traffic by planning out a winning Facebook ad targeting strategy well before the shopping craze kicks off. For some social inspiration, check out 4 Facebook Ad Strategies to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Success where we explain how to make optimal use of your ad spend and ad creative, re-target existing clients and maximize your sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Read more All the best facebook ads you should learn about


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How to be a professional Youtube video maker

YouTube is one of the best ways to market yourself or your business. People of all ages and industries visit YouTube on a daily basis. It receives over 100 million video views each day, so it has a massive audience – one that you can potentially get in-front of. Not only is YouTube one of the best ways to market you or your business, it also relatively cheap. If you manage to become a successful YouTube vlogger then it will be a great way to drive traffic to your website/generate leads

10 Steps to get started on Youtube as a professional video maker:

1. Choose your niche
What type of videos will you make? Decide what you are passionate & knowledgeable about. Make sure you choose something that you will be motivated to make videos for months & years to come. If you’re bored making your video, then the viewers certainly will be.

2. Create a YouTube username & domain name
The right name will help you build a brand. Have a name that is catchy, memorable and relevant to your topic – and make sure you have a web address (domain name) that matches it. You will want to drive traffic to your website, so make sure the Youtube username matches or at the very least is similar, otherwise you will look unprofessional.

3. Consistently upload videos
Plan your videos. Decide on their topics and when you will film them. Come up with a film schedule and stick to it e.g. upload a video once a week or twice a week, etc. You need to regularly feed your audience with new videos otherwise they will lose interest in you. If you want to grow a loyal following then deliver the content. Create a storyboard or script if you feels this helps.

4. Good lighting, audio & picture quality
The better your video looks, the professional you will come across. It is worth investing in a good camera, but the good news is it’s becoming cheaper every year to get a quality HD camera. If you have an iPhone 5 then odds then you’re off to a good start. Natural lighting is best, but if you live in a cloudy country or can only film at night, then but some lights – they will make a big difference.

5. Get a good microphone
Having high-quality, crystal clear audio is absolutely essential of you want better videos. Don’t underestimate the importance of audio. Its recommend you invest in a quality microphone as the inbuilt microphones with most cameras have often have pretty low-quality audio.

6. Add music to your videos
Think about, films uses music to Influence the emotions of the audience – it tells them when to feel sad or happy, etc. For example, you could use a subtle background track to carry the subject along and give it more energy, and importantly keep the viewer more engaged. Keep in mind that people will have come to the video to hear you, so lower the volume of the music so people can hear you lound & clear. Just make sure the music you add is either copyright free or royalty free.

7. Get good at editing your videos
Take your time and learn how to edit your video. Study how other videos are shot – when do they make jump cuts. How do they transition from one scene to the next? A well edit video can help keep people attention focused.

8. Titles & Thumbnails
This something many vloggers forget to spend time on. But all successful youtubers create thumbnails & video titles that are of a high quality. They are an advert for your video – they will be the first thing people see and its all they have when deciding whether or not to click and watch your video. There’s a lot of competition out there, so make the most of every opportunity. Have an interesting title, but make sure it relates to your video content. Likewise, make sure your thumbnail is eye-catching – you can customise it in YouTube or your editing software e.g. pic a freeze-frame from your video or add some cool text & effects over your thumbnail – again make sure it relates to your is a handy tool to create thumbnails.

9. Advertise/Promote your channel
When you upload a video make sure you tell as many people as possible – spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, embed the video on your website, etc. The more people know about your video, the more views it will get.

10. Become involved in your niche Youtube community
Comment on other youtuber videos, collaborate with other vloggers, keep an eye on what’s popular. Leave your feedback and eventually people will start to recognise your name and come on over and visit your channel. Always be nice….

Read more Best video advertising trends you ought to know


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How to market to customers by Facebook Messenger

Category : Facebook Ads

I’m going to show you the exact features that marketers are using to get those results.

Here are four specific Facebook Messenger features you must try:

  1. Comment guard
  2. Chat blasting
  3. Click to messenger ad
  4. Chat widget

1. Comment Guard (Private Auto-Responders on Facebook Posts)

Comment guard is a bot that you set up on your organic Facebook posts. When someone comments on the post, they will automatically receive a Facebook message from you.

Facebook messenger marketing graphic

You can think of it as a Facebook post autoresponder.

  1. Person comments on a post.
  2. Said person automatically receives a Messenger reply.

No offense taken if you don’t want to become my next lead (mwahaha!), so I’ll show it to you in screenshots.

Here is the Facebook post.

Facebook post with comment guard

As soon as someone comments, they receive a Facebook Messenger message from a Facebook chatbot.

Facebook messenger with comment guard

The person has not become a lead yet! The lead loop is closed only when they reply to the chatbot.

Once they reply, they’re a solid lead. You have all their information and permission to send them messages.

There are three reasons that savvy marketers love comment guard.

  1. Comment guards are free. You don’t pay for the leads. With Click to Messenger ads, you are paying per lead but not with comment guards.
  2. Comment guards are a list building tactic. Anyone who comments and then engages the Messenger bot automatically adds themselves to your list.
  3. Comment guards are blessed by Facebook. Facebook Algorithm rewards engagement. So if you have a hot organic post and it’s getting comments, Facebook will prioritize that post in the newsfeed, giving you even more engagement.

Remember, your goal with comment guards is engagement.

Here are some ways that you can create an organic post with insane levels of engagement.

  • Quizzes or riddles: Create a quiz, no matter how dumb, and ask people to reply with what they think is the correct answer.
  • Gif replies: Ask people to answer a question with a gif. It can be as simple as “How’s your Monday going? Answer with a gif!” The comments will come pouring in.
  • Autocomplete: Give people a starter sentence and ask them to create an answer with autocomplete. Example: “Hey guys, type On Mondays I feel like a” and use autocomplete to finish the sentence.
  • Surveys: Surveys are easy to create, and they bring in tons of engagement. Your survey may be as simple as this: “Are you an agency marketer or an in-house marketer?” By responding to the survey, your audience starts the comment guard.
  • Opinions: Who doesn’t want to share their opinion? Pose a question and let people comment with their thoughts and feelings.
  • Controversy: Obviously, you want to be careful with controversial issues, but you can use this technique to spark some conversation. For example, “Jason Momoa is not hot. Prove me wrong.” Obviously, you’ll want to select a topic or issue that is relevant to your niche.
Jason Momoa meme

Here are a few more tricks you can use to get more leverage from your Facebook comment guards.

  • Add a comment guard to hot posts. If you have an organic post that’s getting a lot of engagement, add a comment guard as soon as possible.
  • Boost the heck out of organic posts that seem to be getting a lot of comments. You know that the post is doing well. With a $100 boost, it will do better, and you’ll score additional leads.
  • Design organic posts for comment guard engagement. Start creating more organic posts with comment guards in mind. Spark interaction and conversation. Remember, this is free leads we’re talking about!
  • Bait your bot. Getting someone to comment on a post is only the first step. You have to keep things just as engaging once the bot starts. Add bait. Offer something enticing. Make it easy for them to respond — a simple “yes” button works just fine.

2. Facebook Messenger Chat blasting

Chat blasting is simple: It’s sending a Messenger chat to everyone on your list.

Chat blasting is a lot like email blasting (except better).

Why? It’s as obvious: 70-80% open rates in sixty minutes!

Compare that to email marketing—5% open rates—and incorporating Facebook Chat blasts into your marketing strategy is a no-brainer.

Before you can use chat blasting, you have to get in Facebook’s good graces by applying for subscription messaging.

Facebook messenger chatblast vs email marketing

Don’t worry. This is easier than it sounds.

From your Facebook page, go to Settings → Messenger Platform, then scroll down to “Advanced Messaging Features.” Click on “Request.”

Facebook subscription messaging selection

The submissions are handled manually, so the review process can take from a few days to over a week.

The main thing to keep in mind here is that you can’t send promotional content.

It might be tempting to blast your list with a “BUY MAGIC UNICORN ICE CREAM NOW! CLICK HERE!!!”

That’s not going to work here.

Facebook requires you to confirm this statement: “I confirm this Page won’t use subscription messaging to send advertisements or promotional messages and will follow Messenger policies and Facebook community standards.”

Keep in mind that anyone who receives a blast must first opt-in. Your goal is to make their opt-in smooth, simple, and delightful.

Facebook message request to chatblast

Using chat blasting is a powerful way to do the following:

  • Maintain a high degree of engagement with your most devoted fans.
  • Allow your audience segment themselves with a chatbot sequence.
  • Automate drip sequences for even greater levels of engagement.

As you gain experience with chat blasting you’ll want to dig into your data to see what works and what doesn’t.

3. Click to Messenger Ad

A click to messenger ad is a Facebook ad where the conversion action is “Send Message.” Instead of clicking on an offer or learning more, the user sends you a message in Facebook messenger.

Here’s what a normal Messenger ad might look like. (I know, normal people don’t use vomiting unicorn pictures. Not sure why.)

Facebook messenger ad

Notice how this ad “opens in messenger” and the button says “Send Message.”

If you think about it, Messenger ads convert at 100%. Anyone who messages you is part of your contact list. You have their name, email, phone, photo, likes/dislikes—everything.


Messenger ads are also ridiculously cheap compared to conventional Facebook ads.

When MobileMonkey started testing Messenger ads, we slashed the cost of our leads from $150 to only $5—a savings of 96%!

cost per result chart

A lot of marketers would look at the number and think, “Pshaw, that’s impossible.” Well, clearly those marketers underestimate the power of Facebook Messenger marketing.

When someone converts on your Messenger ad, the magic happens. Your Facebook chatbot takes over, coaxing the target down the funnel of your choice.

The user becomes part of an interactive dialogue with you or the chatbot.

Facebook messenger with chatbot

This type of interaction is enormously more compelling than a simple offer on a landing page. Plus, you can set up the bot so that users can choose to talk to a real person at any time.

Based on my experience, Messenger ads have the biggest potential in marketing today. Sure, a few lone marketers are using them, but Facebook feeds aren’t yet crowded with them.

As an example, I just spent a few minutes of my life mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. Except I was counting ads.

Out of the 20 ads that I saw, none of them were Facebook Messenger ads. There were plenty of “Learn More” and “Download,” but zero Messenger ads.

This is notable because I’m a target for ads that deal with marketing tactics and products. Ironically, one of the ads was for a Messenger chatbot app, and it was “Learn More” instead of “Send Message.”

My point is this: Use Facebook Messenger ads.

Read more How to make your Facebook Ad Campaign successful


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Tips To Maximize PPC profitability

Category : Google Ads

In some cases, adjusting your bids might not be enough for your business. For these situations, you should consider decreasing your sales. This sounds counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. By making each sale significantly more profitable, you need fewer sales to boost your overall profits and ROAS.

There are two main ways you can actually decrease sales whilst still raising overall profitability. Remember that turnover is vanity, but profit is sanity!

Raising product prices to increase profits

It may sound obvious to some advertisers and alarmingly risky to others, but actually increasing product prices can lead to higher profitability if done correctly.

An ecommerce client of ours was complaining about keeping up with the demand of their main product online, they were very busy manufacturing the product (luxury coats) and had to stop selling certain colors and sizes due to popularity. We raised prices of the coats by 70%, and the number of sales fell by just under 43%, a huge improvement to their bottom line overall.

Clearly, raising prices generates more profitability per sale, but when other costs are factored in you could actually triple the profitability with just a small overall price increase:

raising product prices

Raising prices has a negative effect on the number of sales overall giving a profit vs. price relationship as shown below:

product price vs profit relation chart

Setting prices too high will stop any sale from happening, too low and you could spend more on advertising and other costs than actual revenue generated.

What we’re after in this case is the magical sweet spot of price profitability vs. conversion rate, i.e., the highest point on the CPC vs. profit curve.

Tweaking prices is, therefore, a great way of optimizing an individual product and you now see dynamic pricing across many limited-service industries such as flights, hotels, and taxi apps.

Raising average order values to increase profits

For some mass manufacturers, B2B product sellers or bulk drop-shippers, there’s a catch-22 situation when it comes to the Google or Bing Shopping platforms:

  • You can openly sell products on your website. This enables shopping campaigns, but your product prices must be shown on the website, and you may get many smaller orders from the general public.
  • You can sell products only to registered or approved website users. This blocks shopping campaigns from being available (prices must be public for shopping campaigns to exist), but your product prices are hidden, and you can set minimum costs for an entire order.

Our client wanted the best of both worlds. They wanted maximum traffic and exposure on Google and Bing Shopping, but at the same time, they wanted to discourage time-wasters with orders of only one or two products.

Here, product delivery overheads are very similar if a customer wants one item or as many as 20 items, thus making really small orders non-profitable.

The solution to this problem was to increase the average order value (AOV) by reducing bids on keywords, ad groups, and shopping product groups if they fell under a certain level:

average order value vs bid adjustments

Bid adjustments were not applied when the AOV was over a highly profitable threshold (£50 in this case), and they were applied in a negative linear fashion when under the value.

The minimum bid adjustment was set to -80% in order to keep ads within the first page of results more often and to not totally kill off any product bids.

The results from this were impressive in many ways for our client:

  • The average number of deliveries decreased, lowering internal delivery costs
  • Less administration work was needed, improving the quality and speed of admin tasks
  • Total delivery times were shorter, leading to an increase in positive customer reviews
  • Average order value increased, raising the average return on ad spend


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Best video advertising trends you ought to know

Here are the top seven video advertising trends you can expect to see more of in the new year.

1. Shorter video ads

Today’s abundance of video content creates an endless amount of competition for advertisers. Customers with the ability to watch virtually anything will only watch an ad if it is relevant, attention grabbing, and valuable. As a result, the amount of time people spend watching ads has declined across nearly every medium. Similar trends are leading brands to test short video ads that aim to beat the skip button and serve short attention spans.

Short bumper ads present a creative challenge for marketers who must tell a brand story in under 15 seconds. The format calls for impactful content that can induce an immediate emotional response from a viewer. Below are two examples of prominent brands using humor, shock, and action to create compelling short and effective pre-roll ads.

Hefty Brands

Mom’s Touch

Concise video ads like these have started to become a staple in video-focused marketing. According to a study by Google, 90% of bumper ad campaigns boosted global ad recall by an average of 30%. It’s a safe prediction that more brands will jump on the trend this year.

2. OTT advertising

Over the top (OTT) is a term used to describe content providers that distribute streaming media over the internet. These services are disrupting traditional broadcast television and have led a new generation of consumers to “cut the cord” with satellite and cable services.

There are three video on demand models currently dominating the OTT industry:

  • Subscription VOD: Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo
  • Transactional VOD: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play
  • Ad-supported VOD: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo

Marketing through these platforms offers benefits similar to those gained from conventional online advertising. Unlike traditional commercials, OTT allows marketers to utilize targeting, ad insertion, and advanced analytics to create shorter more personalized ads. This enables brands to run full screen ads catered to the viewing habits of an entire household. Viewers watching these ads from an OTT streaming device can’t skip or install an ad blocker. As a result, video completion rates are significantly higher for OTT advertising than in-browser video ads.

The number of places to advertise through OTT is growing exponentially. Future iterations might combine data from other devices in the household to create even more effective targeting. Not only would this technology maximize the potential of ad campaigns, but it would also ensure viewers are seeing ads that actually match their interests. In the years to come, OTT could rise to be one of the most lucrative channels available to modern advertisers.

3. Mobile-first advertising

Smartphones have become ubiquitous. In 2018, mobile devices accounted for over 52% of all worldwide online traffic, and all video marketing stats show continued growth. Marketers are well aware that consumers now rely on their phones for news, shopping, and a significant portion their entertainment. As a result, forward-thinking brands have worked to make their websites, advertisements, and even services mobile-friendly. Creating this intuitive user experience is critical during a time when nearly half of all online transactions are done on smartphones.

In addition to changing the way we consume, mobile phones have also started to influence the way we create video content. The majority of videos recorded on mobile devices today are being shot in an upright format known as vertical video. It’s a trend that has led many brands to create vertical advertisements intended for platforms such as Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and even Facebook. Using this vertical format enables marketers to get engaging content in front of modern customers and minimize on-screen distractions.

Vertical stories are reportedly on track to surpass Facebook and Instagram news feeds in terms of user engagement. Additionally, the advent of shoppable Instagram stories and vertical video platform IGTV have created a practical motivation to create in this format. We can expect the use of mobile-first content to continue its spread well into and after 2019.

4. Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are a new form of digital art gaining popularity online. These photo and video hybrids contain a subtle motion that plays in a seamless loop while the rest of the image remains still. It’s a visually interesting effect that creates the illusion you are watching an animation. Whether the subject is waves crashing against a shore or the flicker of a candle, the end result is an alluring image that captures the viewer’s attention.

Cinemagraphs are made using high-end cameras and a post-production tool to composite a series of photos or video recordings. The first to use this technique (or popularize it) were New York based photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. It was originally intended to bring life to their fashion week photos but ultimately sparked the curiosity of the web. It wasn’t long before advertisers started using Cinemagraphs for marketing campaigns.

Cinemagraphs garner more interest than photos without the involved process of video. It calls for a bit of imagination, but it’s another way advertisers will tell their stories in 2019.

5. User-generated content

Even in the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing remains a valuable asset to brands. In a recent survey, 76% of consumers said they trust content shared by “average” people more than by brands. This underlines the importance of leveraging user-generated content, or UGC, to build trust with your audience. UGC can be defined as pictures, videos, reviews, social media posts, or any relevant content created by unpaid “fans” of your brand. Not only is UGC more budget-conscious than other forms of marketing, but it has also been shown to generate 7X higher engagement than standard brand generated content.

What makes UGC most appealing is the authenticity it presents to an audience. Today’s customers are no longer impressed with pushy sales tactics. People want to engage with brands they feel an emotional connection to. The best way to build that relationship is through transparency and storytelling. Brands who find ways include their fans aren’t just marketing to them, they’re creating a viable community people are excited to be a part of.

Toyota, for example, boosts ad engagement by 440% with UGC.

Our online experience is becoming ever more content-driven as customers seek brand experiences that align with their personal interests. Marketers who succeed in creating or encouraging UGC will develop a brand people can connect to.

Read more All the best Facebook advertising tricks for small business


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Facebook Ad guide for beginners

Your resources are going to be limited while your startup’s still getting off the ground. Taking the long view and giving the top of your funnel some love will go a long way in making sure you don’t crash and burn—or worse yet, create a pattern of unsustainable growth in the first few years or months of your startup’s life.

Facebook ads for entrepreneurs: driving widespread and cost-effective impressions

Facebook gives entrepreneurs an unparalleled ability to reach new prospects on a massive scale through the Reach and Brand Awareness campaigns. Both of these campaign types are available at the “choose your marketing objective” step of the campaign setup process.

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Objectives

In light of another resource entrepreneurs are famously light on—time!—we should note here how simple Facebook makes the campaign and setup optimization for DIY advertisers. Facebook objectives inherently mimic a fully formed marketing funnel. Wherever your advertising goal fits—be it awareness, consideration, or conversion—you can optimize your campaign to target that section of the funnel.

But let’s get back to building awareness. Both of these campaign types (Reach and Brand Awareness) allow you to use what’s known as CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding. This basically means that you, the advertiser, pay for every thousand views of your ad, rather than on a per-click basis. This optimization model is so valuable for entrepreneurs trying to build their brands, because it allows them to generate the most views of their ads for the least amount of ad spend. Maximizing ad exposure means maximizing brand exposure—and when you use CPM bidding, you’re maximizing brand exposure in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Facebook ads for reach

Reach and impressions: same thing, right? Not exactly.

Reach is the total number of unique users who see your ad, whereas impressions is the total number of aggregate users who see your ad. When you select the Reach campaign type, you get to choose to optimize your ad delivery for either reach or impressions. Optimizing for reach gives you the luxury of setting what’s known as a frequency cap.

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Reach

Frequency caps allow you to set how much time you want to pass before a single user sees your ad twice. So if you want a minimum seven-day buffer between the first time a prospect sees your ad and the second time he sees it, you would set your frequency cap at one impression per seven days. Facebook ads for entrepreneurs is more about demand generation than demand fulfillment. Optimizing for reach and setting a frequency cap can go a long way in ensuring that you’re exposing your new business to as many unique prospects as possible.

For most entrepreneurs, ignoring the “Set a bid cap” option above will be your best bet. Facebook automatically optimizes your campaign to give you the most amount of impressions for your budget. But if you want to try your hand at setting a manual bid, you can select the “Set a bid cap” option. So if you decided, say, that it’s worth no more than $2 for you to show your ad 1,000 times, you can set your bid cap to $2. If you decide you want to ramp it up to $4 and see how that affects your estimated daily results, you can do so. And so on. But again, there is no shame in letting Facebook bid for you; in fact, it’s one of the ways Facebook helps entrepreneurs make the most out of their time and their budgets.

Facebook ads for brand awareness

When you select Brand Awareness instead of Reach as your campaign type, you’re going to notice that things looks pretty similar at the ad set level.

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Brand Awareness

You’re still getting charged per thousand impressions; Facebook is still optimizing your ad delivery to get you the most impressions for your budget (here you’re not even given the option to set a manual bid). Except here, Facebook inherently optimizes for ad recall lift. This estimated recall lift metric shows how many people Facebook estimates would remember seeing your ad if they were asked within two days of seeing it. The idea here is that instead of generating impressions based just on your targeting, Facebook takes the perceived “quality” of the impression into its own hands by using a number of factors (behavior, polling, machine learning) to determine which prospects will actually remember your ad after viewing it.

Optimizing for ad recall lift is an especially effective strategy for entrepreneurs because it allows you to hedge against wasting money on low-quality impressions. If you’re inexperienced with targeting, or if you all your have is a minimum viable product and you’re still trying to gauge who your ideal customer is, it’s perfectly ok to use very broad targeting when running the Brand Awareness campaign type; actually, Facebook recommends it. Targeting broadly allows Facebook the room to find quality impressions that are more likely to result in conversions at future brand touch points.

Facebook ads for e-commerce entrepreneurs

Many entrepreneurs considering Facebook ads are undoubtedly going to be in the e-commerce space. Templated website creation platforms like Shopify and Squarespace make it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to set up slick online stores themselves, or to hire a third party consultant or agency to do it for them relatively cheap. Set up a quick self-made site on Shopify, get hooked up with a dropshipping supplier, and boom: you don’t even have to see your product before you sell it.

Whether you choose Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or another e-commerce platform to pedal your tangible product, e-commerce is an extremely quick and viable way for entrepreneurs to get their businesses up and running.  Retail ecommerce sales worldwide are projected to surpass 4 trillion US dollars by 2020. If you’re considering using Facebook ads to help grow your startup or small business, there’s a good chance you’re either already contributing or considering contributing to that number.

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs

And while Google Search and Shopping represent great opportunities to get qualified traffic to your online store, Facebook’s extensive suite of targeting options, ad types, and placements make it no slouch in the e-commerce department.

Products can be advertised using every ad type on Facebook. Whether that’s carousel ads that allow you to showcase multiple products in your lineup (or multiple features of one product)…

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Carousel Ads

Lead ads that will allow you to collect cost-efficient leads and blast them with email offers for your retail products later on…

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Lead Ads

Or another ad type—there’s no shortage of formats in which to showcase your products.

Retailers who create on-site offers to incentivize purchases during set promotional periods will find Facebook offer ads extremely useful. Offer ads allow you to advertise the products that apply to your on-site promotion across Facebook, driving visitors to your online store who are ready to convert on your offer.

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Offer Ads

Arming prospects with discount codes before they head to your online store is a great way to encourage purchasing behavior. Offer ads give entrepreneurs the ability to do just that.

Read more Top Creative Strategies for Facebook Ad


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How to increase your sales by Google Ads

Category : Google Ads

One of the biggest challenges automotive marketers face is gaining the trust of their leads. After all, the job of a marketer is to help bring leads in the door so the sales team has people to sell to. But in such a competitive industry—one where the consumer is making a rather large financial decision that will affect their everyday life—automotive marketers do not have it made in the shade.

So how can automotive marketers deal with these challenges? By being smarter about their online advertising. 97% of people looking to purchase, repair, or customize a car start their journey online.

image of woman on car

Let’s dive into nine key ways you can bring potential automotive customers in the door through compelling online advertising.

1. Build trust with customer reviews

I will never forget leasing my first car. I went for the reliable, affordable, and decent-looking (in my opinion) Honda Accord, but I was terrified at making this decision. I spent months doing research, calling local dealerships, considering whether leasing or buying a used car was the better route to go. At the end of day, I decided where to look in person by reading customer reviews on Yelp and Google.

The point of this anecdote is this: Reviews are perhaps the most critical component to getting leads in the door. As an automotive marketer you need to not only ensure you have GOOD reviews, but you need to go above and beyond to ensure these glowing reviews are everywhere they can possibly be. Yelp, Google, social networks, your own website—ensure you are covering all your bases! You can also take things a step further by creating customer success stories and videos with your most valued customers, and use these in various places, like paid social ads, your website, or your newsletter.

automotive marketing customer reviews

There is no better way to instill trust than to let your customers speak for you!

2. Be at the top of the Google SERP

As mentioned above, when I first started searching for my new car where did I turn to? Google, of course! I am not alone in this. According to a study from Kenshoo, 70% of consumers researching cars turn to search engines first.

Since Google is the first line of defense you need to be at the very top! Especially considering how often people scroll to the bottom of the SERP (HINT: it is not often). The first few listings always get the most clicks, so ensuring you in the top positions is critical. To do this your Google Ads strategy need to be extremely effective. So how can you get to the top of the page without completely breaking the bank? There are certain strategies that Google tends to favor, and will help you get in higher positions without spending more. Follow these tips to get started:

  • Ensure your Google Ads account is structured properly with tight-knit ad groups (aim to have 15-20 keywords per ad group).
  • Keep keywords tightly related to your ad text, and include 2-3 ads per ad group/keyword list.
  • Use ad extensions! Google loves them, and they will help you get more ad real estate and chances of lead interaction.
  • Add negative keywords to block out irrelevant searches (and keep a close eye on your search query report).
  • Allocate your budget properly between campaigns. What are your highest sellers? What is your target audience most likely to search for? Bid higher on these items to capitalize on what is popular among your audience

It’s also important not to forget about other search networks, like Bing.

Bing Ads breakdown by audience

While Bing might seem like the neglected cousin of Google, they do account for a section of the search market that typically attracts older folks—people who are probably more financially established and able to invest in expensive cars.

3. Bid on competitor keywords

While we’re talking about search engine marketing, it’s important to not only be bidding on the obvious keywords like “new Honda Accord.” You should also set up a campaign to tackle your competition.

It is a fierce and competitive world in automotive marketing, so being able to show up every time your competition does with compelling ad copy is key. While I would not recommend saying anything negative or using your competitor’s name in your ad copy (which Google could put you in time out for), you should bid on your top competitors brand names, and create highly persuasive ads to get leads to visit your website over your competition.

I love this ad from Toyota for instance:

automotive marketing search ad for college grads

While I can’t see if they’re bidding on competitor keywords or not, I love how they are appealing directly to a specific demographic, and adding value for that individual right in the headline of their ad.

4. Actively manage your negative keyword list

Did you know that your ads can show up for searches that are not relevant to your business? And if anyone clicks on them, you still have to pay? Whenever you are bidding on broad or phrase match keywords the potential to show up for irrelevant searches is present.

While just bidding on exact match might seem like a nice solution, this will greatly limit your reach potential, which makes the process of identifying negative keywords critical to your search strategy. While searching your search query report might feel like a time-consuming task it is an absolute necessity, especially in the automotive industry. If your ads are appearing for irrelevant search terms your business instantly loses credibility. This is why being cognizant about setting up negatives to avoid irrelevant search queries is not only going to save you face, but also going to save you money.

For instance, imagine if you’re bidding on the keyword “affordable cars” and your ad appears for the search “toy cars,” and then a busy parent accidently clicks. This is not only a waste of time for the parent, but it’s a waste of money for you!

search results for "big toy cars"

WordStream Advisor makes it quite easy for you to manage your negative keyword list through tools like the 20-Minute Work Week, which helps weed out irrelevant searches, and our search query report to find and configure your negative keyword lists.

5. Adjust your campaign budgets based on car-buying trends

Is Black Friday the hottest day to buy a car? What about Memorial Day Weekend? There are many unofficial “car-buying holidays.” According to an analysis done by and U.S. News & World Report, you can purchase a vehicle for 7.5% to 8% below MSRP if you’re strategic about when you buy it. Assuming your audience has done their fair share of research, they are aware of these automotive deal times.

Figure out when things are busy, steady, and slow and then adjust your online advertising budget accordingly. Make sure your windows aren’t too narrow. This often requires planning ahead, but Google and other ad platforms make it fairly easy to adjust your budget on an ongoing basis. Just make sure you’re actually doing this!

automotive marketing ad schedule

Another thing to take advantage of is ad scheduling. When do customers typically come into the store? Weekends? Weekdays post work? Look at the data to determine this and set an ad schedule so your ads are only running at a higher budget right before these key times, reminding your future customers to come on by.

6. Target the right people with your automotive campaigns

What type of automotive business are you marketing? Who is your typical customer? There needs to be a different strategy for marketers of luxury Porshe and BMWs versus marketers of used cars or more affordable brands like Honda and Toyota. The prospective customers have drastically different concerns, questions, wants and needs when it comes to investing in a new car. While your Mercedes customer may be more concerned about their heated seats and leather interior, your Honda buyer most likely care more about gas mileage and longevity.  Although this might not always be the case…

image of people on car

“Those who buy luxury cars more likely crave social status and material wealth, as opposed to utilitarian cars which consumers buy out of necessity,” says Julia Manoukian.

Different audiences need to be broken down and targeted separately. Considering the main things your audience cares about is a critical way to get the right message to the right person and increase the chance of conversion.

If necessary, you may need to split your audiences into two, three, or even four separate campaigns to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right prospect. And, of course, with tools like Facebook’s targeting options this is not as complex as it once was. Just ensure you spend the time to define your audiences so you can craft the right message to the right person at the right time!

Read more Best tips to get an effective Google Adwords Campaign


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The most brilliant marketing strategies you should know

In order to stay competitive, you need to adjust your strategy, as well. Here are seven tactics that your social media strategy needs.

1. Target true engagement

Cheating the system to encourage engagement has been a popular social tactic for some time, with brands sharing posts that suggest users simply “tag a friend in the comments below” to rack up interaction figures without actually creating a conversation. But algorithms are getting smarter, and engagement bait isn’t going to cut it this year as platforms crack down on spammy systems for garnering likes and shares.

With organic reach declining and more businesses upping their social ad spend, content needs to be truly interesting and engaging so that followers, and wider audiences, can’t help but get involved. Whether that’s irreverent conversation in the style of the MERL and Gregg’s, or creating artistic vertical video for Facebook, it’s more important than ever to find the voice and the stories that work for you.

MERL tweet targeting true engagement

How to jump on the trend: Stop relying on lazy social CTAs. Think about your brand voice guidelines and how you can best apply them to social media, using social as part of wider content marketing strategies instead of a standalone.

2. Work with micro-influencers

On the theme of true engagement, it’s no surprise that micro-influencers continue to win ground over their more celebrity-like counterparts. Aside from budget benefits, in that micro-influencers often work on a gifting basis or simply have much lower fees than the big names, research continues to show that their audiences are more highly engaged and can be more niche-specific than all-singing, all-dancing social media stars.

social media influencer post on Instagram

Some research has even clearly shown that once a profiles amasses more than a few thousand followers, engagement rates on sites like Instagram start to rapidly decline. Collaborating with digital socialites who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers comes at a fraction of the usual influencer cost, but with a likelihood that genuine engagement will be much greater.

This is in part attributed to a level of believability that can be lost with bigger “influencers.” While some brands turned their nose up at the idea of micro-influencer collaborations in 2018, anyone hoping to produce credible collaborative work this year needs to embrace the up-and-comers.

How to jump on the trend: Take the time to research up-and-comers in your niche. Search relevant hashtags to find social stars who aren’t represented by agencies, where audiences are smaller and engagement rates are higher. Plan influencer campaigns based on relevancy, not audience size.

social media influencer enagement rate tool

3. Get rid of fake followers

On the theme of genuine engagement and influencer marketing, it would be wrong not to address the issue of fake social followers that really gained momentum throughout 2018. Fake and spam accounts have been around since the dawn of social media, but now it’s increasingly common to find so-called “influencer” profiles with millions of followers, where the reality isn’t quite what it seems. Even politicians and celebrities have been caught cheating.

Part of the reason that it’s so important to check engagement rates before connecting with an influencer is that audience size does not necessarily equal views or activity. Fake followers and paid-for likes can make it seem that someone is popular, but on closer inspection, collaborating could be a waste of time and money.

2019 is already shaping up to be the year that fake followers are public enemy number one, with sites like Instagram and Facebook announcing their plans to stamp out fraudulent activity once and for all.

image of woman with social media

How to jump on the trend: If you’ve been buying followers from services promising to grow your audience, stop. And similarly, when you’re working with influencers, don’t be afraid to do some serious homework. Tools like Twitter Auditand HypeAuditor can help.

4. Make your social profile shoppable

Shoppable social has already made waves, from Pinterest’s buyable pins to the Checkout on Instagram. But there have been some major upgrades over the past year, and the path from social app to checkout page is now clearer and shorter than ever.

Pinterest has upgraded ad pins to “Product Pins”—a tool that takes shoppers straight to the checkout page for a selected item on a retailer’s site, while Instagram now gives users a route from discovery to checkout without ever having to leave the app. Even the “Explore” page now features a shopping tab—something that paid search marketers should be aware of.

Pinterest image

Pinterest say that their Product Pins have increased click-through rates to retailer websites by 40%. With shoppers likely to drop a purchase if the steps between viewing an item and paying for it get too numerous, retailers should leap at the chance to make the kinds of instant sales that social media encourages.

With many shoppers first browsing on social or on Google, paid search and paid social teams will need to work hand-in-hand throughout 2019 with a clear understanding of their respective tactics and outcomes.

How to jump on the trend: Invest in shoppable social adverts where relevant. Test out Facebook offer ads or selling on Instagram to see which platform and CTAs work best for your audience. Also, make sure to adjust your PPC strategies and targets to account for the shift.

5. Include dark social in your strategy

Dark social refers to the kind of social networking that marketers can’t track; the sharing of information over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage and other similar apps. We are all increasingly aware that the content we engage with online forms part of our own online presence, and that posts we like or comment on will appear with this information in our friends’ newsfeeds.

This, coupled with a dislike of eerily-tailored advertising and a growing distrust of social media onTest out Facebook offer ads or selling on Instagram to see the whole, has created a situation where a lot of social sharing takes place out of sight. Direct messaging of posts and products can feel like a big hit to brand awareness, but this isn’t the case—while you may not be able to track these kinds of exchanges, they nurture valuable engagement.

Facebook’s Messenger app sees 1.3 billion users send 8 billion messages every month, and the total once you include WhatsApp, WeChat, and Skype is around 5 billion active monthly users. That’s more than the traditional social networks combined, which means “dark social” can’t simply be overlooked as an area that marketers are unable to access. Overall, it’s estimated that 75% of consumer sharing happens on dark social.

Facebook Messenger marketing example

How to jump on the trend: Incorporate dark social into your social marketing strategies. Does your brand have a presence on these channels? Could it? From Facebook Messenger chatbots to VIP WhatsApp groups, think beyond traditional marketing objectives to encourage sharing among a more receptive audience.

6. Capitalize on FOMO with live video

Tired of hearing about millennials? Good, because this year it’s Generation Z you should be turning your attention towards. Generally noted as being born between 1995 and 2015, parts of Generation Z are now starting their careers and looking at where they’ll be spending their own disposable incomes. Among this age group, FOMO—i.e., the fear of missing out— inspires experiential marketing experiences and user-generated content campaigns.

As far as social is concerned, this means that digital marketing needs to capture the same you-snooze-you-lose attitude that comes with pop-up shops and one-off events. Live video and super-short, time-sensitive competitions are just a few of the ways to instill FOMO on a waiting audience, possible through Instagram’s IGTV, Facebook Live, and other channels.

live video image

A particular benefit of live video is that followers on a range of platforms are notified when someone they’re following goes live—a neat way of sidestepping algorithms designed to minimize the amount of content that reaches audiences organically.

How to jump on the trend: Fine-tune and implement a live video strategy. Research your audience thoroughly to understand what they want, and use themes like behind-the-scenes videos, insider interviews, and giveaways to keep people engaged.

Read more The best digital marketing tips for beginners


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