It’s a scientific fact that marketers love traffic.
(I saw it on the Discovery Channel.)
The only bummer is the fact that creating a profitable traffic campaign takes time and patience to optimize.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if you could set up a campaign and KNOW it was going to perform like gangbusters right out of the gate?
That’s the idea behind this blog post—I’ve sourced five customer acquisition experts (AKA media buyers) to each share one of their best-performing campaigns.
All you have to do is swipe and deploy in your business, then tweak as needed…
Then sit back and watch as highly engaged traffic comes to your site in waves.
Ready to get started?
Tom Breeze, Founder and CEO, Viewability
I’ve always been blown away by the scale and return on investment (ROI) potential inherent in YouTube ads, and last year, I stumbled onto a YouTube campaign that increases leads by 33% and sales by 52%.
I call it the “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign.
Here’s how it works:
This campaign involves creating an in-stream ad (a skippable video ad that runs before the video content on the page).
I’m sure you’ve seen these ads. Here’s an example of one of our old in-stream ads:
Anyone who clicked on the ad was taken to a landing page with a registration form:
This campaign performed well, but we were looking for ways to improve.
And one day I got an idea after seeing this quote:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”
According to good old Ben (who knew he was such a great marketer?), there are three levels of teaching/involvement:
Thinking about it, I realized the same is true of video ads.
You can, of course, simply tell the visitor about your product or service. And that works to a certain extent.
Better video ads actually teach the visitor a little something, right there in the ad. These ads tend to perform better than those ads that simply tell.
But how could we reach that third level—how could we involve our viewers in our content?
The answer came to me when I stumbled across one of these old books from my childhood:
Those Choose Your Own Adventure books were highly engaging because they actually INVOLVED you in the action. You weren’t just passively absorbing the book…
You were actually deciding how it would unfold.
And I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do the same thing with a YouTube ad?”
As it turns out, we can. And here’s how.
The Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube Campaign
For this campaign, we knew that we tend to have two different kinds of consumers:
- People who are new to guitar, and
- People who are in a guitar rut—they’ve been playing for a while, but haven’t seen much improvement lately and want to take their skills to the next level.
We used this information to give the viewer a chance to “choose their own adventure” right in the ad.
Instead of putting one generic call-to-action (CTA) in the ad, we put two CTAs in there—giving the viewer the opportunity to identify which type of guitar player they are.
The result was two clickable CTAs in the ad, which looked like this:
You can actually see the YouTube ad in its entirety here:
We ran this ad and generated over 1.5 million views, using the same targeting options as the original.
And here are the results (along with what we learned):
- Increased View Rate by 39%. More people stuck around to watch the video.
- Generated 33% more registrations per view. Of those people who did view the ad, more ended up becoming a lead.
- Generated 52% more sales. And most importantly, this ad generated more sales. A lot more.
OK, so those results are pretty clear: The “choose your own adventure” style ad is significantly better than the original.
What makes this ad so effective?
I’ve identified four things this ad does that explains why those numbers improved so much:
1. It Changes the Question in The Viewer’s Mind
Part of why this ad worked so well is because it creates what I call a “false dichotomy.”
During most ads, the viewer is asking themselves: Should I click or not?
But by giving two options like this, we are changing the question to: Should I click A or B?
It assumes the click and changes the question in the viewer’s mind in a subtle, but powerful way. Just making that little shift helped create a big improvement in our results.
2. It Gets Viewers Engaged with Our Sales Funnel
When the user clicks on one of the two CTA buttons in the ad, they aren’t taken directly to our landing page; instead, they are taken to another YouTube video providing useful content for their particular problem.
Then, the CTA on that second video takes them through to our landing page.
Because the Choose Your Own Adventure ad links keep the user on YouTube, it’s an easier click. There’s less friction than there would be from sending someone directly to a different website.
This is also a form of “microcommitment.”
A microcommitment is just a small step that the viewer takes that gets them more engaged with the ad, and makes them more likely to continue down the funnel.
It’s sort of like leaving a breadcrumb on the ground. By getting the person to stop and pick up that breadcrumb, we are subtly leading them in the direction we want them to go.
This means when the user arrives on the second video, they are a little more engaged than they were with the first video—which makes them more likely to click on that video’s CTA. And when they arrive on your landing page, they are even more engaged—and more likely to register and become a lead.
3. It Lets Us Create Two Custom Landing Pages
Another awesome thing about this ad is that it allows us to tailor our content to the user.
People who clicked on the “new to guitar” CTA landed on a page that focused on the specific challenges that guitar newbies are likely to face. The content is super relevant to them.
People who click on the “stuck in a rut” CTA, on the other hand, landed on a page that is written toward existing guitar players who need help getting out of a rut.
This segmentation improved the conversion rate on our landing pages while also helping us to learn more about customers and identify problems in the funnel.
For example, we learned that guitar players who clicked the “in a rut” CTA were 5x more valuable than the guitar newbies.
So, we used this information to run some tests on the newbie funnel that helped us to improve the results from those visitors, without sacrificing any of our results with the “in a rut” visitors.
We could never have learned this stuff from a standard ad with one CTA.
4. It Allows Us to Remarket More Effectively
Finally, this strategy helps us to get even more targeted and specific in our remarketing.
Instead of one general remarketing list for all guitar players, now we can segment our remarketing to focus one campaign on guitar players in a rut and another campaign to focus on guitar newbies.
(We do this by building a remarketing audience based on anybody who has viewed the “In A Rut” or “Fairly New” videos.)
We can also remarket more aggressively to players in a rut since they are more valuable to the business.
This allows us to spend our money more wisely using this method of advertising.
How Can You Use This in Your Own Campaigns?
A Choose Your Own Adventure ad campaign works best when you can segment your users based on one of two things:
- The visitor’s identity (guitar noobs vs guitar players stuck in a rut)
- The visitor’s intent (do you want more leads or more sales?)
And in case you’re not sure HOW to set it up, it’s pretty simple: Just use YouTube’s new “End Screens” to create your different CTA links at the end of your video.
You can add up to four links, and you can specify when you want them to appear near the end of the video.
The best part about End Screens is that, unlike annotations, they work on mobile. (This is really important.)
(I’ll be talking about this on the DigitalMarketer Blog soon, so keep an eye out!)
Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube ads are going to be a BIG focus for us in 2017, so definitely give this YouTube ad strategy a try in your business!
Mike Rhodes, Founder and CEO, Web Savvy
I’m going to share some tips you can take to get a better return on your ecommerce Google ads (aka Google Shopping ads or PLAs).
Here’s the problem many ecommerce campaigns face:
Each search term has a very different value to your business… but because you can’t use keywords, it can be tricky to bid the right amount for each search.
For example, take these three keywords:
Each of these keywords has a different value for your business.
Generally speaking, the first keyword has the lowest value because it indicates the visitor is still researching their options. They know they want to buy a TV, but they don’t know what kind yet.
The final keyword has the highest value because it indicates the greatest buying intent. This visitor knows exactly what they want, down to the exact model. This person is likely to make a purchase very soon.
And the second keyword is somewhere in the middle.
So, the question now becomes:
How do you make sure you’re bidding the right amount for each keyword?
And here’s the answer:
The “Generic”, “Brand”, and “Make & Models” Campaigns
First, start with 3 campaigns: “Generic,” “Brand,” and “Makes & Models.”
And configure these campaigns like so:
Makes & Models Campaign
This campaign will be targeting your highest-value keywords containing specific product names, like “65KU7500.”
Because these are your highest-value keywords, you want the bid to be high to make sure that you’re showing up for these high-value searches.
You don’t need to set any negative keywords in this campaign.
However, you do want to set the priority to “low.” This is because if someone searches for a more generic keyword (like “buy TV” or “buy Samsung TV”), you want that bid to come from your Generic or Brand campaigns instead. (This way, you won’t be overpaying for lower-value keyword searches.)
This campaign will be targeting medium-value keywords that contain a brand name, such as “Buy Samsung TV.”
Set your bids and priority in this campaign to a medium value (something in between your Generic and Make/Model campaigns).
Finally, make sure to add your Make/Model keywords (such as “65KU7500”) as negative keywords in this campaign. This way, if someone’s search includes the keyword “65KU7500,” your bid will come from the Make/Model campaign instead.
This campaign contains all your generic keywords, such as “Buy TV.”
Because these keywords have your lowest buying intent, you should give this campaign your lowest bids.
But make sure this ad group this your highest priority, so that if someone searches for “Buy TV,” your bid will come from this campaign (with a lower bid) instead of your Brand or Make/Model campaigns.
Finally, add all your Brand and Makes/Models keywords as negative keywords. This will make sure that if someone performs a Brand or Make/Model search, those ads will be served by your Brand and Make/Model campaigns (with their higher bids) instead.
A Quick Example
Confused about how this works? Here are a few quick examples:
Someone searches for “Buy TV.”
Because your Generic campaign has the highest priority, this ad will be served from that campaign with a low bid.
Someone searches for “Buy Samsung TV.”
“Samsung” is a negative keyword in your Generic campaign—so this search won’t match to that campaign.
The two remaining campaigns are your Brand and Make/Model campaigns. And because your Brand campaign has a higher priority, the ad will be served from that campaign (with a medium bid).
Someone searches for “Buy Samsung 65KU7500.”
This one’s easy: “65KU7500” is a negative keyword in both your Generic and Brand campaigns, so your ad will be served from your Make/Model campaign with a high bid.
Now… Triple Those Campaigns
At this point, you have three campaigns.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve performance even more, simply triple them.
Create three versions of each campaign, one for each device:
This will give you the ability to tweak your bids based on how your ads are performing on each device.
The result? Greater control and a better ROI.
Improve Your Campaigns Even More
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve audited a campaign that puts all the products into one big ad group.
Please, guys: Don’t do this!
Each product can have its own ad group.
This gives you much better control and visibility and gives you more options when setting up features like remarketing and extensions.
You won’t always go this granular, but often it will yield the best results.
Layer Remarketing With RLSA
You know that remarketing works, right?
Of course, you do! 🙂
But let’s get a little more granular with it.
Let’s adjust your Shopping bids with the help of RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads). This gives you the ability to combine remarketing with your shopping campaign.
How does it work?
The idea is pretty simple. You adjust the bid based on which part of your site the viewer has visited, like so:
Let’s say we’re starting with a $1.00 bid…
- If the person is on your email list, increase it 20%—now it’s a $1.20 bid.
- If the person visited any part of your site, increase it 50%—now it’s a $1.50 bid.
- If the person viewed your product, increase it 100%—now it’s a $2.00 bid.
- If the person viewed the cart, increase it 250%—now it’s a $3.50 bid.
- If the person is a previous buyer, increase it 400%—now it’s a $5.00 bid.
You don’t have to use those exact numbers, but you get the idea: You should be willing to pay more for a visitor who has shown greater interest in buying your product.
Use the Right Ad Extensions
There’s no other way to say it:
If you aren’t using ad extensions, you’re leaving money on the table.
The right extensions will give your ad more real estate on your prospect’s screen, generating more clicks, and, ultimately, more sales.
The two extensions you should absolutely be using are ratings and promotions.
This extension will show visitors just how awesome other people think your product is.
Reviews are essential in ecommerce, so if you have reviews, absolutely set up this extension. If you don’t have reviews, then go get some!
Just look at how the two ads on right stand out because of their reviews:
This extension adds an extra line of copy to your ad that says “Special Offer”:
When the person clicks, they’ll see a coupon code on the product page:
I believe EVERYONE in ecommerce should be using this extension—even if it’s just 5% off—because it gives you that little extra line under your ad.
Now, I know that some people will disagree because they don’t want to eat into their profits by giving everyone a discount.
But you want to know the kicker?
More people will click on your ad if they see a coupon code available…
…but few people will actually USE the coupon.
We ran a test that generated a lot of data:
Out of those 1,137 conversions, guess how many people actually redeemed the coupon code?
Only 62 (about 5%).
In other words, you can get all the benefits of using the coupon extension… including greater visibility and more clicks on your ad (notice our 43% click-through rate (CTR) above)…
Without having to give a discounted price most of the time.
(RELATED: 3 Advanced AdWords Tactics That Increase ROI)
Set Up Dynamic Remarketing
If you’ve been following along, you already have a powerhouse ecommerce campaign that’s firing on all cylinders.
Looking for one more way to kick it up another notch?
Start doing dynamic remarketing.
This allows you to show remarketing ads to visitors based on their previous browsing behavior.
You’ve probably heard that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. It’s also a great place to show your product ads.
You can combine the reach of YouTube with the power of Shopping ads by using Shoppable TrueView ads.
They’re a bit more complicated to setup and honestly, results have been mixed for my agency, WebSavvy.
But, if you’re looking to try every last tactic to drive sales, test ‘em out!
I also highly recommend combining your product feed with Gmail ads to show your products right inside someone’s Gmail account, like this:
Gmail is a very under-utilized targeting option right now, so this can bring you great results without much competition.
Ralph Burns, Agency CEO, Dominate Web Media
I want to walk you through the process we use to take an existing ad account that isn’t performing up to par, and turn it into an organized and well-oiled machine.
The first thing we do when optimizing an ad account is to look through the account for any “hidden nuggets”—things that are working well that we can leverage across the account for even bigger wins.
In this example, we were working with an ecommerce company in the beauty industry. This company wanted new customers at a CPA (cost per acquisition) of fewer than $10 each.
But there were a few problems.
Two Common Facebook Ad Account Problems
Problem #1 was that this company was running all sorts of campaigns with a mishmash of objectives:
- Ebook downloads
- Post Boosting (Engagement)
- Some Conversion Campaigns
The result of this hodgepodge of campaigns? The company had no overall strategy. And that lead to…
Problem #2: They were putting money in (about $5,000/day), but they didn’t know how much money they were making as a result.
They had an idea that they were more or less breaking even, but they didn’t know how to improve their ROI or scale their campaigns to generate even more leads, sales, and customers.
How We Optimized this Account and Generated a 7-to-1 ROI
So, what did we do to fix things?
Our first step was to set up conversion values inside their custom conversion events.
If you’re selling a product inside of Facebook, you need to set this up now!
Setting your conversion values is what allows you to figure out how much you made on your ad spend. It’s an extremely important part of your campaign setup.
(Unfortunately, after looking through over 200 Facebook accounts, I’ve found that fewer than 10% actually do this.)
The next thing we did was to look through their campaigns for anything that was already working.
We found a few campaigns that were getting newsfeed conversions under $10:
We looked closer at these ads and realized a few things:
- They were simple link post ads going to a blog post.
- The blog post gave high-quality content in the form of beauty tips.
- The blog post had tons of product links where people could buy a product. (Unfortunately, this meant that they had no idea which products these people were buying once they arrived at the blog post.)
This was all great stuff that we could work with.
And when we analyzed the site even closer, we realized that the blog post contained really great videos of their spokesperson demonstrating how to use their products.
Each video was well done and provided a lot of value by showing the visitor how to solve a common beauty problem:
We call these “Trojan Horse product placement videos” because they are primarily content… but by virtue of good product placement, they do a great job of building desire for the product being used in the ad.
These were great videos, five to six minutes each, which did a fantastic job of following our three-step process for video ads on Facebook:
- Get attention through motion
- Education, entertain, inform
- Close for the sale at the end
So, we decided to test them as newsfeed ads.
We started by reorganizing the account to bring some order to the chaos. We implemented the “Michigan Method,” creating one ad per ad set.
The account structure looked like this:
We targeted twenty different beauty niches, using nine variations, three videos, and three different ad copy variations.
The ad formula we used is something I call the “Yankee Clipper” ads formula. This is one of the formulas we use to systematize our ad copy:
Each and every ad we created was a different variation on this basic formula.
When it was all said and done, we had a campaign with nine ad sets.
When it launched, it looked like this:
It may look intimidating, but by breaking everything out like this we were able to easily identify what was working and what wasn’t. This made it easy to PAUSE the losers and SCALE the winners.
The results of all this were pretty astounding:
We spent £247, 572.87 and generated £1,454,230.83 (that’s an ROI of 7-to-1)…
All by analyzing the campaign for what was working, bringing order and strategy to their account, and systematizing our ad creation process with a winning formula.
Keith Krance, Founder and CEO, Dominate Web Media
I want to give you guys a Facebook ad framework that has been successful for us over and over again.
Using this framework, we’ve been able to generate checkouts for $4 each, and leads at $2 each:
Want to learn how we did it?
The secret comes from systematizing our ad process to include as many proven elements of persuasion as possible.
And we’ve identified seven core elements that we try to get into every single ad.
Here’s a quick overview of the Seven Core Elements:
Facebook Ad Core Element #1: Credibility/Authority
This is where you demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.
In this case, I mention the fact that I’ve tested over $10 million on Facebook ads over seven years.
Facebook Ad Core Element #2: #1 Challenge or Frustration
When you can name the visitor’s top challenge or frustration, it signals to them that you understand what they’re going through—and more importantly, that you have the solution they’ve been looking for.
It also creates some great rapport along the way by helping your prospect to feel understood.
Facebook Ad Core Element #3: CTA #1
Ultimately, we want the person to click through to our landing page… but in this video ad, we FIRST want them to watch the video.
That’s why our first CTA encourages the person to stick around and watch by teasing them with what they’re about to learn.
Facebook Ad Core Element #4: Give An “Aha Moment”
This is where you provide an insight that gives your viewer a moment of realization that provides some real value in helping them to overcome their problem.
In other words, show them you can help them by actually helping them.
In this ad, I share the first four targeting groups you should start every campaign with.
Facebook Ad Core Element #5: CTA #2
Now, with this CTA, tell them exactly what to do.
You want to be absolutely explicit when you do this, for example: Click this link to get your free book.
Facebook Ad Core Element #6: Link Headline
Because this is the biggest line of copy in your ad, you’ll want to put your main hook here.
In this example, it’s the “#1 Lesson Learned After $10 Million in Ad Spend.”
Facebook Ad Core Element #7: Link Description
Here is where I like to make a secondary…
- Curiosity or
…statement to reinforce the ad above.
Again, I recommend trying to fit these seven elements into every Facebook ad you run.
They don’t necessarily have to be in this order, but they should be in there somewhere.
Next, I want to talk a little more about “aha moments.”
The Power of an “Aha Moment”
To create a really great ad, you need to give viewers a flash of insight. A moment when they say to themselves, “Oh! Great idea!”
In the video ad example above, I teach visitors the “#1 lesson learned after $10 million in FB ad spend.” And the “aha moment” of the video is where I reveal the four targeting groups they should start every campaign with.
One thing to keep in mind when creating an aha moment is your audience’s level of awareness. And I like to track awareness using the acronym UPSYD:
- Unaware: Your prospect has no knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
- Problem or Desire Aware: Your prospect senses she has a problem but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
- Solution Aware: Your prospect knows the result he wants but not that your product provides it.
- Your Solution Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell but isn’t sure your product is right for them .
- Deal (The Most Aware): Your prospect knows your product and only needs to know “the deal.”
(You can learn more about the UPSYD process in Episode 86 of the Perpetual Traffic Podcast.)
You need to make sure that your aha moment is one that is appropriate for the awareness level of your audience.
To use the example in that podcast episode, let’s say you’re running traffic to a ketogenic diet offer.
If your traffic is solution aware—in other words, if they know about the ketogenic diet but not about your ketogenic diet product—then your aha moment needs to give the viewer insight into your specific ketogenic diet solution.
If your traffic is unaware, on the other hand, your aha moment has to be something that would make sense to a person who doesn’t know what the ketogenic diet is.
Something like this ad:
And here’s the full ad broken down by the Seven Facebook Ad Core Elements…
When you can align your aha moment to speak to the specific awareness level of your visitors, your traffic campaign will really start to take off.
Which takes us to our final traffic expert and her campaign…
Molly Pittman, Vice President of Marketing and Director of Traffic, DigitalMarketer
I want to give an example of how I used our content-first strategy (we talk about this a lot on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast) to profitably break into a brand-new market with Facebook marketing.
At one point last year, we were trying to generate more leads from local businesses (think restaurants, hair salons, car dealers, and other brick-and-mortar businesses).
The problem was that when I targeted local businesses using our Lead Magnets, the CPL (cost per lead) was around $17. Generally, we prefer a CPL between $3-$6.
So, I put together a quick Animoto video that explained to local business owners why Facebook was a better way of getting new customers than the advertising methods they were already using (like billboards, Yellow Pages ads, and stuff like that).
I made sure to keep the ad really simple since I knew many of these people were unfamiliar with how Facebook ads worked.
My goal was just to get the DigitalMarketer brand in front of people, pixel them, and educate them about how they can use Facebook to grow their business.
Then I ran this as a video ad, targeting as many local business owners as I could find.
The video generated a ton of engagement, with over 500 shares, 1,000 likes, and 81 comments. The content really resonated with people.
You can see the video ad here:
After a few days, we had spent $10k promoting this video and pixeled over 500k people.
So, I immediately retargeted these people with another ad that has performed well in other campaigns. If you follow us on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen this ad for our “Facebook Ad Template Library”:
There was nothing special or custom about this ad—it was the exact same ad we have run to many other audiences successfully.
What were the results this time around?
We spent about $43k on this ad, with a CPL of $3.64. When you add the cost we spent to initially pixel these people, the CPL came out to $4.49/lead…
Which is right in the middle of our ideal $3-$6 range, and MUCH better than the $17 CPL we were getting before. So that was definitely a win for us!
Even more importantly, this strategy allowed us to reach an entirely new market that we were having trouble reaching.
And all it took was creating a quick little education video to warm up these prospects who needed a little more information before they converted.
This is a great example of the power of good content and providing solid value to your prospects.
Give your audience useful information, and they’ll start to know, like, and trust you… and if you follow up and remarket well, they’ll even start to BUY from you, too.