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If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Man, I just wish I knew what works,” then this blog post is going to be the best blog post you read all year.
It starts with Google Display Network [GDN], Yahoo Gemini [AB], And then Taboola [TB].
These three networks are commonly used by top media buyers because they provide massive traffic at a great CPC with precise targeting.
These 3 Networks Are Used By Top Ad Buyers Because Of Their Cheap Clicks Combined With Massive Scale
Next, is the hottest new trend in retargeting, video retargeting.
By using Google Remarketing lists and Facebook’s website custom audiences you can use Youtube ads and Facebook video ads to retarget your landing page visitors with short videos.
We’re seeing double the conversion rates with video ads.
Even when sending clicks to the same pages that other ads are driving visitors to. Use video retargeting as a way to recycle those bulk clicks into even more traffic.
Finally, just like you would use email follow up sequences to push people through your sales funnel, you can use retargeting ads to help push your visitors through your sales funnel.
Just like email follow up, you can use retargeting ads to help push your visitors through your sales funnel
We discovered these best practices while working with 25 of the top direct response marketing companies.
We also use competitive intelligence tools AdBeat, SEMRush, SimilarWeb (etc) to analyze your trends and competitors.
Based on all of our experience and the data that we saw last year, we believe this playbook is the strongest media plan for modern direct response marketers.
To make sure you don’t think we’re just making this up, below we’ve included screenshots showing ad spend by network for a few of the world’s largest digital advertisers…
LowerMyBills.com Ad Spend by Network
StansberryResearch.com Ad Spend by Network
Instaflex.com Ad Spend by Network
Did you notice that Google and AdBlade are the only two that all 3 companies had in common?
Listen, we’re not making this shit up. We have access to an overwhelming amount of data that shows this strategy is a collection of “cream of the crop” digital ad strategies. The best part is, it doesn’t matter if you’re a one man shop or you have a team of internal media buyers, anyone can drive millions of clicks profitably with this strategy (providing you have a decent sales funnel).
Obviously, some customization might be needed based on individual needs, but we felt this is a good template for companies to start with.
What You Need To Know About
Google Display Network To Get Started
[GDN]: Google Display Network
With Google Display Network you can use aggressive style direct response banner ads while targeting your ideal audience. For example, if you’re selling muscle building supplements you can target pages by keyword (Benchpress, Deadlift, Powerlifting, etc) then also layer demographic data on top to ensure it’s highly targeted traffic. Your landing page will still have to be Google compliant, but they tend to be more lax on their display side than with their search ads.
Examples of Google compliant landing pages…
These were all running on Google at the time of writing this article. Things may change over time, the Internet is good at that. You should always read the Google advertising guidelines yourself and frequently as they do tend to change.
[GEM]: Yahoo Gemini
Gemini is friendly to aggressive direct response marketers. All the top CPA offers are using Gemini because their ad units look great and get high CTR’s. They used to be a 2nd tier ad network mostly used by rookie CPA marketers looking for cheap clicks, but recent changes in their ad unit design (NewsBullets) and inventory is quickly making them a 1st tier for those in the know. Gemini is a high volume network with great targeting options including geographic, psychographic, and of course demographic.
EDIT: I’ve swapped out AdBlade for Yahoo Gemini. The two are very similar, but Yahoo has much higher quality traffic. My clients are also seeing FAR more conversions with Yahoo Gemini, than they were with AdBlade.
Taboola is a native advertising network and is the new dog in an aggressive direct response marketers yard. They allow you to put teaser ads for your advertorial/editorial content on their vast publisher network of sites like Forbes, Time, TMZ, and many other 2nd tier media sites. The CTR’s these ad units get are much higher than the CTR’s of banners or text ads and CPC’s below $0.50. ShareThrough.com, a leading native advertising data source, says that native ads are showing an 18% lift in purchase intent. Also, very little compliance issues. You can read their guidelines here.
What You Need To Know About
Video Retargeting To Get Started
2012 – 2014 everyone was buzzing about retargeting. Which for the first time in history gave advertisers the ability to follow the eyeballs after they left the site (without needing to opt-in for anything). In 2015 the hot new twist on retargeting is video retargeting. Following those eyeballs into Facebook and Youtube with short teaser videos or testimonial videos for your products.
[YT]: Youtube Ads
By using Google’s remarketing lists feature you can target your Youtube ads to visitors who landed on your landing page from other means. This is POWERFUL! Visitors to your landing page will be shown a short video teasing the benefits of your product when they log onto Youtube. This re-engages them and we’ve seen conversions double after clicking to the page from video ads. Same compliance issues as Google Display, light, but strict. Not nearly as bad as Facebook.
Here’s how to set it up…
- Put Google Analytics code on all your pages.
- Link your Google Analytics account to Adwords.
- Create a Google remarketing list for all website visitors.
- Create a 30 – 90 second video. Make sure the first 5 seconds set the hook so they don’t click “skip ad.”
- Upload the video to your Youtube account.
- Link your Youtube account to Adwords.
- Now create a Youtube “instream ad” from your video and set the target to the Remarketing list you made.
Side Note: I wouldn’t be a good marketer if I didn’t mention that we have a really good Youtube Ads course.
[FB]: Facebook Video Ads
While Facebook is not friendly to aggressive direct response marketing, they do have arguably the best traffic retargeting options with their custom and lookalike audiences. By using their website custom audience pixel you can create an audience from all your landing page visitors and then serve them short video ads later on while they are on Facebook. Use one of your Google compliant pages here, try not to attract too much attention to yourself, and you should be fine.
Imagine a visitor who was on the fence about your product all of a sudden seeing video testimonials, product demonstrations, or short teasers for days after they leave your site. Surely, you see how this is way more powerful than simple banner retargeting.
What You Need To Know About
Curing Cart Abandonment
[FB]: Facebook Website Custom Audience
You may have noticed we didn’t include Facebook as a primary source of traffic. That’s because over the last year they have proven to be very unstable and unfriendly to direct response marketers. Almost anyone doing $1,000/day or more has had repeated trouble with ad account shut downs. However, I believe using them for smaller ultra targeted campaigns using their website custom audience and lookalike audience features is a sure bet. With website custom audiences you can create an audience of people who landed on your landing page AND also clicked through to your sales page.
These are highly qualified visitors that makes a lot of sense to retarget them with soon-to-expire discounts via FB newsfeed ads. For example, visitor clicks landing page, then clicks through for the product, for some reason doesn’t buy right away, but then see’s a 10% off (expires midnight) newsfeed ad for your product later that night on Facebook. BOOM! Conversion.
You can also create another website custom audience of people who land on your order page but don’t complete their order. These visitors were excited enough to click the order button, but just couldn’t pull the trigger yet. You’d be surprised how much this happens. There are horror stories all over the net of marketers discovering 50% – 80% of their order page traffic abandoning the cart before ordering. Now, you can bring those orders back using Facebook website custom audiences and newsfeed ads which are arguably the most effective ad unit in the world right now.
After you’ve built up a sizeable custom audience for each of these examples, now you can create a lookalike audience and expand your campaign to people that Facebook believes are similar to your visitors. Every Facebook advertiser I know has said that custom and lookalike audiences are the highest ROI campaigns they’ve ever run. With some reports as high as 900% ROI.
[RMG]: Google Remarketing Lists
Using the Google Analytics code that is likely already installed on all your pages you can create remarketing lists based on pages your visitors visit, just like with Facebook website custom audiences. So everything I just described above that you can do with Facebook you can also do with Google. Allowing you to follow your visitors all over the rest of the web instead of just inside Facebook. Plus, Google just released a competitor to lookalike audiences called “similar audiences.” This means you can also create campaigns targeting people who Google believes are similar to the visitors from your remarketing lists.
The trick with Google remarketing and Facebook website custom audiences is ONLY targeting highly qualified visitors. You do not want to just target any visitor, because a majority of web visitors are bounces that were never interested. However, someone who visited your landing page and your sales page is a qualified candidate. Same goes for someone who has visited your sales page and your order page. With Google remarketing lists you can ever create a list of visitors who were on your page for a specified amount of time. This is great if you have a VSL and want to remarket to people who watched more than half of your VSL, but not all the people who left in the first minute.
The best part about the roll out strategy is that it works for a one man shop, or a company with their own team of internal media buyers. It’s simple enough for the amatuer and strong enough for the veteran.
However, if this looks overwhelming to you, or if you don’t have accounts in these networks, or if you don’t have the time to learn how to use each of these networks, then you should let us make it hands-free for you.
Our AdSkills Media Buyers specialize in direct response ad campaigns. We can guide you through the compliance rules and help you scale the campaigns.
What we need from you…
- Proven/tested sales funnel that is capable of converting the highly targeted clicks we send into sales. (Note: we do not work with newly built sales funnels)
- Tracking Already set up – we work with all cookie-based tracking solutions, however other solutions (like Infusionsoft) are not acceptable tracking solutions for our services.
- 1 day of your time to plan and build your digital marketing strategy.
If this is you, fill out our matchmaker form and we’ll pair you with an AdSkills certified media buyer that fits your budget. For everyone else, I read every comment so if you have questions leave a comment below. Also, if you found the information in this article useful, sharing it on Facebook or Twitter really helps us keep producing more content like this. Without the shares, we just couldn’t afford to keep producing free content like this.
Thanks for reading.