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Introduction to Mobile App Ads

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Photo Credit: consumerist.com Photo Credit: consumerist.com
I assume you have a smart phone with some mobile apps installed on it. If you have not yet made the leap to smart phone technology such as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, I suggest you start there before trying to understand this next bit of information.

Many apps you can download are free. So how do they make money? The answer is simple: by selling ad space. If you’ve ever downloaded a free game or photo editing app onto your phone, you’ve probably had to watch pop up ads between games or before saving a photo. You might have seen small banner ads at the bottom of your screen inside the app. These are called “mobile ads.”

There are over 2.1 billion people globally using smart phones today, and around 200 million in the U.S. alone. According to wikipedia.org, it is “estimated that mobile app install ads accounted for 30% of all mobile advertising revenue in 2014, and will top $4.6 billion in 2015, and over $6.8 billion by the end of 2019.”

With mobile apps becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives, allowing us to get news, watch videos, play games and even work on the go, often people don’t have a need to open their computer browsers at all. These apps then become more crucial touch points with consumers.

When you’re setting up a promotion on Facebook, you can view how your mobile ad will look compared to your desktop ad. Make sure you do so in order to see how your graphic and text will look when it’s condensed for mobile viewing. Google has a very specific category for mobile ads as well as specific search results pages within smart phone browsers. These ads will appear on Google search, Google Play, YouTube, Google’s display network of mobile sites, and within other mobile apps.

Mobile ads offer another great option for promoting your business as more people go mobile and engage in mobile apps all day long. But don’t get involved in mobile advertising just because it’s cool. Do it if it fits well within your strategy to meet your online advertising goals and you know it will help you reach your target audience.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #MobileApps

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Promoting your Business on Facebook: The Basics

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Promoting your Business on F...
According to research, 1.86 billion active users are on Facebook. In other words, 1 out of 4 people on the planet has a Facebook account! On average, people spend 20 minutes a day on Facebook. No wonder Facebook is gaining ground as a platform for online advertising. Its ad revenue must be growing at a soaring rate.

I have to be honest, by the time this blog post is published, Facebook may have a totally different interface. They are constantly putting energy into building a very competitive and effective advertising platform for business. They update and upgrade their system frequently, so I will simply cover some basics instead of giving step-by-step instruction on how to set up your ad campaign.

Here are some ad promotions you can set up on Facebook:

1) Promote your Call Now button
2) Get more Website Visitors
3) Promote your Business
4) Promote your Page
5) Boost your Timeline Post

With each promotion, you can choose your “call to action” button such as book now, sign up, send message, learn more, call now and so on. This is a great opportunity for you to set goals and measure the success of your ad using Facebook “insights” on your business page to help you track the data.

Once you decide on your promotion type, you can also choose your audience. Unlike Google AdWords, Facebook, thru profiling, can provide you with very targeted audience options. The possible demographics you can customize include:

-Gender
-Age
-Location
-Interests

Facebook allows you to target people with specific business, hobby or lifestyle "interests" based on keywords or phrases you choose. Again by profiling, Facebook will place your ad in front of people who have clicked ads, or liked posts and pages that are relevant to the interests you chose for your ad. For example, PSPINC might run an ad on Facebook and choose keywords like "small business," "web development," and "websites" to target potential clients with these interests.

After customizing the target audience for your ad, you will set your daily budget and the duration of your campaign. When you choose the daily budget, it will also show you an estimated ad reach of how many people will see it.

Regardless of the media and method you choose, you must have goals in place and a strategy for your campaigns. Determine how you can tweak the next campaign if the last one didn’t give you the results you want. Try a new age range, new keywords, limited or broader location targeting, a more appealing graphic, or a different call to action. Test different campaigns on social media as you would on a search engine. Without being actively involved in your campaigns, tracking and adjusting as you go, you will not likely get a satisfactory return on your investment.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Facebook

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Get Started with Online Ad Campaigns

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Get Started with Online Ad Ca...
Google AdWords is an easy, user-friendly platform with several options available for advertising your company. You can choose to use search ads, display ads, video ads, app ads, any or all of those, however, unless you’re a programmer or a company with a mobile app, don’t bother with app ads right now.

Search ads are text ads that get displayed in search engine results pages, and display ads are banner ads that get displayed on Google’s partner websites. You may have suspected this, but video ads will be displayed with YouTube (now owned by Google).

Google also has a tool called AdWords Express. It is a setup wizard where you simply answer some questions to get started advertising in the search engine. You’ll answer easy questions, write a basic ad, and Google will deliver it to your target customers. The steps to get started are easy to follow and setup takes about 15 minutes.

If you wish to have multiple campaigns testing a wider variety of key search phrases, ads, and demographics, you may want to consider using Google AdWords’ traditional dashboard. It gives you more controls for measuring and tracking conversions, choosing specific keywords, and targeting a specific demographic of people.

It was only 10 years ago when Google and Yahoo were dominant in the field of online advertising, with their main focus on search ads (text ads). But today, social media is getting a piece of the pie, with sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offering their own sponsored ad space.

When you compare the two giants, Google and Facebook, you find that Google has a reach of 2.6 billion users while Facebook has 1.28 billion users. Facebook can target users’ interests and behaviors based on their likes and shares, whereas Google is more proficient at targeting by location and search terms. Though Facebook does not have a search engine feature for ads, it is gaining more ground with display ads throughout its network.

Whether using social media or search engines or both, you have a lot of easy tools to choose from for your online advertising campaigns. Have a strategy for your campaigns, set your goals, track your conversions and fine tune things as you go. You can only see success if you put some effort into tracking and making adjustments as you go.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #CostPerClick #PayPerClick #CPM #Adwords #Facebook

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What are Display Ads v. Search Ads?

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Photo Credit: questechie.com Photo Credit: questechie.com
When it comes to advertising in search engines, you can choose between text ads (sometimes called search ads) and display ads. In a pay-per-click campaign, your text ad is shown in a search results page when someone types in a keyword or phrase you bid on. Next to the paid ads you may notice “Ad” or “Ads” in Yahoo and Google, but they look a lot like the organic search results (i.e. title, URL, and description). Thus, it’s easy to get confused between the paid ads and the organic search results.

Display ads are not the same.

Display ads are graphic images or banners that show up on popular websites that have leased ad space. The display ads will show up for people based on contextual targeting (keywords they’ve searched) or behavioral targeting (websites they’ve browsed).

For example, you have probably seen ads for something similar to what you’ve searched for in the recent past. If you’ve visited websites about cars, you’ve probably seen car-related ads while browsing sites like Facebook or YouTube. If you’ve searched online for "tax advice," don't be surprised if at some point you see a graphic ad pop up for a company like TurboTax or H&R Block.

Another popular form of advertising is called “remarketing.” Remarketing is when you pay to have a display ad appear in front of people who have already been to your website and seen your products or services. If you've recently viewed a product on Amazon.com, you might see a sponsored banner ad for that same product while viewing Instagram or Facebook. These remarketing ads generate quality leads from people who already have interest in your product or service.

People feel comfortable with brands they are familiar with so one way to build that brand awareness is through display ads. You can set your display ads to show over time so your potential customers will be reminded of your company periodically. Having said that, the effectiveness of your ad will largely be based on having a visually appealing graphic that tells the story of your brand. If you want the clicks, make sure your ad is professionally designed with the right messaging to attract your target demographic.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #SEM

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How to Track your Online Advertising Campaigns

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How to Track your Online Adv...
Advertising, online or offline, is only the starting point of your marketing campaign. You can’t reach your full potential for success without a mechanism to track and understand your campaign performance. Without tracking, you can’t measure your return on investment, nor will you know what’s working and what’s not working, or what adjustments you can make to do better. So, let’s go over the key things to know about analytics for your website:

Website Traffic

Most web hosting services, such as PSPINC in Bellevue, give their customers analytics data in order to view their web traffic sources. Our Dreamersi web hosting platforms come with analytics data built in. If you have a company website, I assume you also have analytics too, but if you don’t, you should stop everything and get it. First check with your web hosting company, but Google Analytics also has a free tool you can use. You will want to know if your traffic has increased or not after your ad campaign goes live.

Visitor Demographics

You will want analytics that can show the demographic of visitors coming to your site. It’s a good idea to compare your site visitors before the campaign went live and after to see if you’re bringing in your target market. With certain analytics in place you may be able to track where people live, ages, genders and more. And hopefully your campaigns are reaching the type of customers you want to target.

Click Through Rate

Click throughs are measured with CTR: Click Through Rate. The CTR is important to your online advertising because it tells you how many people were enticed to click on your ad per how many people saw it. If you do not have a good CTR, that means your ad campaign, your message, offer, or visual should be adjusted to attract potential customers.

Conversions

Conversions can be defined by your own goals. For those who click your ad links or banner ads, what is your main goal for them? Is it for them to call you? Is it for them to visit more than three pages of your site? Whatever you define as your goal for your campaigns, you will need to track that performance. So, of those visitors you brought through click throughs, how many of them took the action you wanted will help you determine your conversion rate.

Cost Performance

Take the numbers above, and divide the actual dollar amount you spent on your campaign. That will give you cost performance indicators. For example, if you got 1000 new visitors, costing you $1000, and 10 of them actually sign up for your inquiry forms, your cost performance is: $1 per visitor and $100 per lead. Now you can determine if $100 per lead was reasonable for your business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Analytics

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Defining CPM, CPC and CPE in Online Advertising

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Defining CPM, CPC and CPE in...
Unlike print or TV ads, where the price of an ad is based on its circulation, many online advertising costs are based on other measurements such as click, impression or other engagement. Generally, online advertising costs can be better monitored and controlled.

With any form of advertising, the broader the reach of your ad may decrease the efficiency of your ad, meaning you may not get the quality leads you want for the big price tag you paid. Quantity over quality. The opposite is also true if your ad is too narrowly targeted; you may lose opportunities to reach the right people. Something to keep in mind as you try out various online advertising campaigns.

Here are some of the cost models you should understand when considering online advertising:

CPM - cost per mille, or cost per thousand

A per mille (in Latin) means per 1000, therefore CPM means cost per one thousand impressions. In other words, you pay per every thousand times your ad was shown to someone, regardless of whether it was clicked on or not. This model is mostly used in display ads such as banners, and is used for broader reach advertising purposes. The same term is also used in other traditional media. With a CPM model you truly have to have that larger audience to make your ad most effective.

CPC - cost per click

CPC is getting more popular and well-known thanks to Google AdWords. Cost per click means you simply bid on a search term (relevant to your business) so an ad for your company website will show up among the search results. If your ad gets clicked, you pay. For example, if someone searches on Google for “Seattle web hosting company” and our ad shows up as a sponsored link because we bid on that search term, we will be charged if they click into our site. In CPC, you can pay the highest bid price for the keyword to get your ad on the first page of Google, or you can choose to pay less per click to be lower on the page, or on the second or third page.

CPE - cost per engagement

Engagement-based pricing charges you on the activity your ad gets. An engagement can be playing a video or hovering over the ad for a certain amount of time. For Facebook ads, it may be filling out an inquiry form or making a phone call.

Whatever ad structure you choose for your budget, it’s important to find the right balance between distributing your ad within a healthy reach and to your target audience.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #CostPerClick #PayPerClick #CPM #Adwords #Facebook

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The Dramatic Shift to Online Advertising

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The Dramatic Shift to Online Ad...
The advertising scale has shifted its weight dramatically, with online ads soaring to popularity over print ads. According to eMarketer.com, spending for print ads decreased from $36 billion in 2011 to $32.3 billion in 2016, while online ad spending grew from $32 billion to $62 billion, with an estimated projection to reach $75 billion. TV ads make up a big portion of ad spending in our society -- $60 billion in 2011 and $72 billion in 2016, but those figures show digital ad spend is closing the gap.

Now the era of new TV technology has arrived -- with the introduction of Apple TV, Netflix, and Google Chrome TV, we can choose the media of our choice, and watch on-demand shows whenever we want. More and more people are cancelling their subscriptions to cable or satellite TV services. It will be interesting to see how advertising advances on those mediums.

The question now is how can we business owners deliver our message to the general public most effectively? The biggest return on your investment will probably come through online advertising. In general, there are different types to choose from:

- Pay-per-click (example Google’s AdWords)
- Banners
- Display ads
- Newsletter ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media advertising

The beauty of online advertising is now we can target specific demographics and refine the audience who sees our ads to get more quality leads. Google, Facebook and others are tracking to see what people are browsing, what sites they’ve visited, and all the information people provide via searches on computers and mobile devices. This is called “profiling.”

Because of profiling, you as a business owner can more effectively run ads on these sites. You can control your ads, how much to spend daily, who sees it per age range and gender, even localize it to a region, state or city. Sites like Facebook and Google will then show your ad to those whose profiles fit your specifications and have a search history that might be relevant to your business.

These advertising options aren’t just available to businesses with a multi-million dollar ad budget either. They’re actually great options for smaller, more cost-conscious businesses. And it empowers companies to reach an audience they never had access to before.

Stay tuned to our blog this month as we discuss more about the options and advantages we have when it comes to modern-day advertising in business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #AdWords #Google #SocialMedia

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Customer Service Best Practices on Social Media

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Customer Service Best Practic...
Generally we think about customer service going through direct communication channels such as telephone, in-store, live chat, and emails. But what about social media? Can it become a channel for customer service communication?

I say why not?

There are 1.7 billion users on Facebook, 400 million users on Instagram, 320 million on Twitter, 300 million on Google+ and 100 million on LinkedIn. We all have accounts on many of these so it is safe to assume there are at least 1.7 billion people communicating on social media. The world population is 7.6 billion so it is safe to say 1 out of every 5 people in the world has one or more social media accounts. Which makes it unwise and unrealistic for modern businesses to avoid social media interactions with their customers. If companies want to grow and reach more people, they must connect and get feedback from current and potential customers via social media.

Check out these helpful tips for good customer service practices on social media:

Don’t avoid social media.

As stated earlier, you cannot avoid social media today unless you are happy with stagnant growth. Assuming every business would like to grow and give good customer experiences, business-to-customer social media communication is a MUST today.

Don’t ignore negative posts.

We all hate negative feedback and customer complaints, but it is possible to turn it around. We all make mistakes but how we deal with it matters the most. Negative feedback and complaints can turn into a positive experience if you handle it with grace and sensitivity.

Be genuine in your communication.

When dealing with tough issues, don’t lie or try to cover anything up. Be genuine and make sure you follow up. Even when posting commentary on social media, customers can tell if you are genuine or not.

Be quick to respond.

In today’s digital era, people want things quickly, which is also true for getting answers and responses. So when you see a post or private message from a customer, make sure someone from your customer service team answers as soon as possible.

Respond no matter what.

Even if you don’t have an answer to the question or response to a customer post, respond quickly just to say you will look into it and get back to them asap. No matter what, the customer wants to be recognized and know that someone is working on it. All you have to do is say we heard you, and will get back shortly!
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #SocialMedia #CustomerService

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Happy Customers make Great Brand Ambassadors

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Happy Customers make Great ...
A “brand ambassador” is someone hired by a company to positively represent their brand in the market. The brand ambassador’s job is to spread the story of the company and create more brand awareness within ads, events, trade shows, etc., and often times, large corporations try to hire public figures to be that important, influential representative.

For example, Leonardo DiCaprio is a famous TAG Heuer watch ambassador, Ciarra a Revlon ambassador, and Will Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith, is now an ambassador for Chanel.

Not all of us have the economic means or connections to hire such well-known public figures to represent our companies, but in these modern times you should consider every customer and follower of your business a potential brand ambassador.

A happy customer can spread the word about their experience and represent your brand by telling the story of their interaction with your company. Whether it’s their transaction experience, or their satisfaction with the quality of the product you provide, there is always a story to tell.

Because of that, you need to make sure you treat every transaction, every interaction, and every communication with your customers or potential customers in a consistent manner that represents your company well. To achieve the consistency of such interactions, it is important you write down some of the basic values you desire within your business operations.

For example, at PSPinc, some of our values are “professionalism” and “courtesy.” We make sure we treat our customers in the same manner we would like to be treated, as we guide them to new technology. If we successfully communicate to our customers with professionalism and courtesy, they will surely tell others about their experience with us, and how well they were treated – positively representing our brand in the marketplace.

So what are your company values? How can you use them to communicate consistently better with your customers and create memorable interactions? Think about the story you want your brand ambassadors to spread about your company, and work to make that a reality.
#PSPinc #Blog #Brand #BrandAmbassador #CustomerRelations #CustomerService #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing

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Using CRM tools to create Customer Relationships

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Using CRM tools to create Cus...
We often forget that the marketing and selling a product or service is only the beginning of a relationship with our customers. Just like your own personal relationships, knowing your customers better will equip you with a more fruitful relationship. So, ask yourself these questions: How well do you know your customer base? How well do you know their opinions, desires, or behaviors?

To achieve the answers and better understand their customers, many businesses try to keep track of transaction history via Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM is a tool to keep all the history, interactions, and other useful information such as birthdays and anniversaries, within records so the company can coordinate more personal interactions with customers.

Do you have a rewards card from a supermarket? This is a kind of CRM.

With the rewards card, companies keep track of your purchase history and patterns to learn more about you. Right now the benefit of having a rewards card is getting the extra discounts, but in the near future I bet they will offer you more personalized discounts tailored to your shopping behavior. You may have already noticed the personalized coupons that get printed at the check stand upon checkout – for the product(s) you’ve purchased before, or even that day. I’m willing to bet grocery stores will come up with even more specialized “just for you” type discounts and transaction opportunities very soon.

CRM data can be far reaching and that is why it’s also known as “Big Data.” Data curation can come in the form of things like cellular phones, rewards card programs, credit card information, or your email habits, so businesses can capture information that allows them to have a more personal relationship with you. It’s how they get to know their customers.

In the 80s and 90s, the popular business trend was to be big - larger retailers with bigger selections and more purchasing power. Today, the trend is opposite – to be more compact and personalized. As we’ve learned from Web 2.0 technology, the younger generation seeks their own empowerment and individualism. CRM will allow us to provide that one-to-one close relationship between customers and businesses so businesses can treat each and every customer as an individual instead of just a number.

CRM gives companies of all sizes the power to deliver the personalized relationship today’s customer will appreciate.
#PSPinc #Blog #CRM #CustomerRelations #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing

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