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Facebook Carousel Ads: Creating & Reporting

Published June 29, 2017
Let’s be honest, the world is filled with marketing noise. From billboards that line our highways to the ads that inject themselves into the middle of articles we’re reading. Ads are so pervasive that, as consumers, we find ourselves trying to filter out the extraneous media begging us to “look at me!”
We marketers will not be deterred though. We will not bow out. We will, however, seize every opportunity presented by advertising platforms to gain an edge; to make our voices heard above the din.
Facebook gives us the chance to speak to our potential customers in a way that can feel almost personal and differentiates our brand from the noise. But when you’re creating ads that will run in Facebook’s News Feed, you’re constantly competing for people’s attention against posts that range from dog videos to grandkid photos.
To stand out, you need ads that are visually engaging, that clearly communicate your brand message and, most importantly, drive the user to action. Facebook’s Carousel ad format may be the answer.
Carousels allow you to put an interactive ad in front of users where they can scroll through imagery, see multiple messages, and click through to your site. They’ve been known to drive up to a 10x higher clickthrough rate (CTR) when compared with standard image ads. You can use images as well as video to place your message front and center.
See the examples below for some creative uses of carousel ads. One is from Facebook itself promoting their Workplace product, featuring a sequential series of images touting benefit points. The other is from Reinvently, who use an image that’s broken into multiple squares which graphically flow into one another.
In this post, we’ll walk you through creating your own Facebook carousel ad and reporting on its performance.

 

 

Analytics Vs. Reporting: Adding Insight to Data

Published June 21, 2017
When someone is speaking, do you simply hear them or are you truly listening?
Listening implies a conscious choice, an investment in the words being spoken. With digital data, some of the same principles apply. Month to month, are you providing analytics to your clients or are you truly reporting?
In the case of analytics versus reporting, analytics is the numbers, the raw data that is captured by a platform like Google Analytics. Whereas reporting indicates an interpretation of that data. It is an effort to extract insights that can drive decisions and actions. The ability to distinguish between the two, and provide the latter, is what can make or break your relationship with clients.
Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, sometimes the closer you are to the analytics the harder it can be to see them through someone else’s eyes.
As an online marketer, it’s all too easy to assume that everyone understands the meaning inherent in the data you’re immersed in every day. Your comprehension of how the AdWords bidding system works or how Google crawls page content is second nature. So when you’re going through reports in Google Analytics and exporting spreadsheets full of information, you may operate in a bubble where you’re ready take action on the data without a translation.
For instance, you may see that a landing page has a high bounce rate and low conversion rate from ads. Instinctually, you know to adjust the content on the page. However, when presenting this to a client, will they understand what bounce rate and conversion rate are, how you determined those metrics were poor and why that made you decide to change the content? Not to mention, do they understand how those numbers relate to whether or not their business is making money from digital marketing?
In this article, we’ll cover a few tips for adding insight to your data to ensure that you’re providing valuable, thorough reporting and not just raw numbers.

 

 

Previewing the New Google AdWords Interface

Published June 15, 2017
We all need a new look sometimes. Maybe it’s a haircut or a new pair of glasses; other times it’s a full makeover. Well, Google AdWords is no different, undergoing its very own facelift over the last few months.
As you may have noticed, Google AdWords has been gradually rolling out a new interface, giving select accounts beta access over time. This represents one of the largest overhauls of AdWords’ visual appearance since its launch. While the overarching process of management remains the same, even aesthetic changes can take a little getting used to. If you haven’t had a chance to re-familiarize yourself with the new face of AdWords, we took some time to go through what’s new, what’s moved and what’s similar to the current interface, with screenshots along the way.
Let’s take a look.

 

 

Defining Key AdWords Metrics

Published June 8, 2017
Spending money on marketing is not new. But with digital advertising, especially the paid options available in Google, for every dollar you lay out, you can figure out how much you’re getting back. From actual revenue to gauging exposure, AdWords gives you extensive insights. You may still have to “spend money to make money,” but at least here you can make sure your money is working smarter.
But to do this, which metrics should you care about most when reviewing AdWords performance? With so much data it’s sometimes hard to tell. For starters, take a look at the sheer number of options you have in the interface for viewing metrics.

 

 

You can add scores of metric columns via the interface, but more isn’t always better. For looking at top level data, there are a few specific metrics you should care about to pinpoint success.

In this article, we’ll review the top AdWords metrics and what they mean for your account, while helping you focus on what numbers matter most to your business’s bottom line.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.

 

 

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.