Why Bid on Your Brand's Name with Paid Search Ads if You Rank Organically?

Using Branded Paid Search Ads as Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Maybe your brand has been testing paid search ads on Google for years, or maybe you’ve just started to dip your toes into this world. Either way, when bidding on keywords, companies often divide campaigns between branded and non-branded keywords. Any keyword that includes your brand’s name is considered branded, and anything that doesn’t is non-branded (think “Patagonia” vs. “women’s jackets.”)

When setting up brand campaigns, a common question we receive from our clients is, “Why do I need to bid on my own brand’s name if I already rank #1 for that keyword with my organic (free) Google listing?” 

Here are the reasons why paid search ads for your brand name are not a waste of money and can even pay off, big time. 

  1. If your brand’s products are also sold via Amazon or any other big-name retailer/marketplace, and you don’t run brand ads, that retailer is likely to take that paid space (for your product) and show above your organic listing. So, running ads for your brand allows you to compete against these other retailers.

  2. If you have any major competitors, it’s likely that they’ll bid on your brand terms, and show ads in that space (again, over your organic listing). That could reroute clicks from your website to theirs.

  3. Similarly, if there’s any brands that have the same or a very similar brand name as yours, they may show paid ads for your name, or compete for that first organic listing.

  4. Running brand ads allows you to capture any misspellings or variations of your brand name that happen. If you were running ads for Patagonia, for example, you could use brand ads to more easily capture “Patagon,” “Pategonya” (seems silly but search terms can get pretty wild), “Patagonia sale,” “Patagonia near me,” etc.

  5. Brand ads typically have high return on investment, as cost-per-click here tends to be low, and the people who click are “warm” viewers already familiar with your brand and ready to buy. There’s a lot more purchase intent behind the search term “Patagonia women’s insulated black jacket” than there is behind “women’s jackets.”

  6. With brand ads, you can tailor your text in a way you sometimes cannot with organic listings. For example, you can target customized ad copy to someone who searches “Patagonia sale” or “Patagonia woman’s coat.” There’s the ability to very closely match search terms with ad copy and increase the chance that someone will click.

  7. Brand ads often take up more “real estate” on the Google page than organic ads. If you add sitelinks, price extensions, and all that Google has to offer, your ad can be quite big, again increasing the chance someone will click. But be careful—your ads may be opted into automated extensions, which allows Google to create dynamic extensions using text from your website, even if you haven’t vetted it. It’s usually better to turn off the automation and create them manually, and that’s what we’re here for. 

Want to learn more? Book a free consultation with us today at hello@makadigital.com, or enter your info below to receive our FREE guide of 17+ actionable promotions you can implement to increase your brand’s revenue and profit margins (no discounts needed!).

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*This blog post was originally posted on Quora by MAKA Digital team members.

Do I Need to Do Digital Marketing If I Sell Primarily Through Retailers, Amazon and Marketplaces? (Part 3)

Part 3 - Activate Your Consumer

In part 1, we shared why a brand that sells primarily through retail, Amazon and/or marketplaces would want to do digital marketing.  And that reason is to own the customer relationship that will ultimately fuel future brand growth.

In part 2, we shared a key element of the digital marketing mix to build the base of those customers that will ultimately drive your future growth:  search marketing. By dominating the Google search page just as you would dominate the retail shelf space to win, you should aim to grow your web traffic so that as much as 50% is coming from search (both organic and paid search).

In this final part, we’re going to share with you how to actually build that customer relationship once your prospective consumer has found you through search, what to talk about when you have nothing to say, and creative ways to reach that customer where they are to activate them.

So you’re getting an influx of traffic from search and you’re happy with how you’re showing up for your prospective consumer.  Don’t stop there. Once that traffic lands on your site, the worst thing you can do is end the communication chain there and leave it to chance that they will come find you through your resellers.  The simplest way to ensure you stay in contact with consumers is to invite them to join your email list. It’s not enough to have a pop-up on your site with an opt-in box. Give customers something of extreme value for opting into your list. Some ideas:

  • A manufacturer’s coupon to redeem in-store

  • A free cookbook (as an ebook) if you’re a food brand

  • Exclusive access to an event

  • Early access to a limited edition product or sale event

  • Free swag

  • Entry into a giveaway package with like-minded brands you partner with

That’s great, but you may be asking yourself what communications do you send when you don’t have anything significant to say?  Some of our most successful clients augment their communications with customer testimonials, press mentions, creative ways to use their product, and of course product launches, store launches, and sales events.

The Value of Your Customer Email List

The real value of your customer email list

Now that you have an audience base that you’ve converted into prospective consumers you can build a relationship with via email, the real magic begins.  The two hidden gems of having an email list:

  1. Your sales team now has a secret weapon to talk about in pitch meetings with important retailers.  When they’re trying to get that sell-in, it’s powerful to be able to say, “we’ve got a database of 7,000 consumers that we own in this region we can announce our partnership to on launch day to help drive sell-through.”

  2. That email list can be uploaded to Facebook and Google to intelligently find more consumers like those in your database.  Within a matter of minutes, you’ve now opened yourself up to a highly qualified audience of potential buyers. And as your email list continues to grow, the audience matching grows and becomes more intelligent, performing even better over time.  


We love number two because this isn’t a tactic many lifestyle or CPG brands are savvy to, meaning we can find very qualified customers for dirt cheap.  Want to talk? Book a free consultation with us today & let’s strategize on how your brand can be best positioned for stronger growth. hello@makadigital.com 

Do I Need to Do Digital Marketing If I Sell Primarily Through Retailers, Amazon and Marketplaces? (Part 2)

Part 2: Dominate the shelf space


Now in part 1 we talked about the reasons why it’s important to own a relationship with your end-consumer directly.  Quite simply, it fuels your future growth in a way you have direct control over. It doesn’t leave your future success to chance and it doesn’t put you at the mercy of your retailers, Amazon or marketplaces to do your brand justice.

In this second part, we’re going to share with you a key element of your marketing mix that will help you own those customer relationships more directly.

In an interview Nestle Waters’ CMO Antonio Sciuto did with Google, he said this about their digital marketing approach:

“We need to think about search with the same obsession that we think about our store shelving.  It’s exactly the same.”

Now I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think innovation when I think about Nestle Waters.  But here we are. This quote rings true more so now than it did in 2017.  Just as a brand wins at retail by dominating the store shelf space, brands need to win online by dominating the search results page - it’s exactly the same.

Now over our years of experience building lifestyle brands through digital, one thing has stayed true:  the sheer amount of traffic search marketing can drive cannot be ignored. Search drives, on average, 50% of a website’s traffic.

The Impact of Search on a Website's Traffic

So in order to successfully own the relationship with your end-consumers directly, you need to make sure they can find you in the first place.  It’s not enough to rank #1 organically. It’s also not enough to hold the top spot in the ad space. Those are great starting points and if you’re not doing search as part of your mix currently, definitely start there. But don’t end there. Dominate that search page with your video content, your blog, your social properties, your influencers and affiliates, rich snippets, and answer box optimization.  You win, your retailers win, and your marketplaces win because you’ve pushed competitors to page 2… and nobody visits page 2.

Once you’ve acquired this traffic, you need to take it a step further to truly own the customer relationship.  In the last part of our 3-part series, we’ll discuss how to build the customer relationship, what to talk about when you don’t have anything to say, and how to reach consumers where they are.

Stay tuned for the epic conclusion, and in the meantime, enter your info below to receive our FREE guide of 17+ actionable promotions you can implement to increase your brand’s revenue and profit margins (no discounts needed!).

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Do I Need to Do Digital Marketing If I Sell Primarily Through Retailers, Amazon and Marketplaces? (Part 1)

Yes.  Why?

  1. You’re only going to grow going forward.  New products which means new product launches, new markets, new retailers.  You need to own a relationship with your end-customer directly so you’re not at the mercy of your resellers to do proper marketing for you.

  2. Manage your reputation, push competitors down the search page, dominate the “shelf space”

  3. Activate your consumer to take action.  And get the benefit of the hidden gems in owning customer relationships - and it’s very likely your competitor isn’t thinking of these.

Fueling Future Growth

You need to own some aspect of a customer relationship in order to fuel your future growth in today’s DTC landscape.  It’s more than fine to sell primarily through retailers, Amazon and marketplaces, but when you do so, you don’t own a relationship with your end-consumers directly.  They do. This means you don’t have a built-in audience with which you can launch future products, future product extensions, new regions and retailers, and new brands even, if those are in your future growth plans.

Using Digital Marketing To Drive Retail Sell-Through

Do you want to be at the mercy of Amazon, retailers and marketplaces to do you justice with your next big launch?  We certainly don’t allow our clients to and you shouldn’t either.  

In part 2, we’ll discuss a key element of your digital marketing mix to help you build customer relationships you own directly. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, enter your info below to receive our FREE guide of 17+ actionable promotions you can implement to increase your brand’s revenue and profit margins (no discounts needed!).

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What Should My eCommerce Conversion Rates Be?

Analyzing Your eCommerce Conversion Rates

If you’re a part of a DTC or lifestyle brand (or any business, for that matter!) you have a lot on your plate. You’re trying to outpace your competitors and grow brand awareness while ultimately bringing in more bottom-line revenue to please your CEO and executive board.

Let’s say your brand awareness is growing and you’re driving strong ROI. But all that said, what should your eCommerce conversion rates be? How do you measure whether that awareness and spend is paying off? 

The short answer is this: a strong eCommerce conversion rate (if you’re looking for purchases, not leads or sign-ups) is typically estimated to be about 1.5%, with mobile at 1% and desktop between 1.5% to 2%. This depends largely, though, on the price of your product, stage of brand growth, and quantity of online and offline retailers.

What about paid media conversion rates? We’ve laid out more info below on conversion rates for the two most common types of paid media—paid search and paid social.

Paid Search Conversion Rates

The conversion rate you’ll see for paid search also depends on different factors, like the niche and maturity of your brand and competition in the PPC ad space. For our eCommerce clients, we typically aim for different conversion rates depending on the type of PPC campaign.

“Branded” campaigns, or those focused on keywords that contain the brand name (ex: Patagonia women’s winter jacket), garner the highest conversion rate since these searchers are already familiar with the brand and ready to purchase. This is variable, but conversion rates around 3% - 5% are what we aim for here.

Campaigns that are focused on general or competitive terms (ex: women’s jackets) tend to have a much lower conversion rate, as searchers here are often just researching and not ready to make a purchase, or may ultimately purchase from a competitor. Conversion rates here often fall in the range of 0.5% to 1% for our clients.

Shopping ads also tend to be very competitive, and often include big players like Amazon and Target, and show a lower conversion rate similar to general keywords.

If your brand is influenced by seasonality (ex: you sell swimming suits), there also will be peaks and valleys in conversion rates depending on the season.

Paid Social Conversion Rates

Similar to paid search, we separate paid social (defined here as any ad or post with money behind it) into audiences who are familiar with the brand and those who are not: simply defined, retargeting and prospecting. 

Retargeting audiences, who have already engaged with your brand in some way, drive the highest conversion rates. Here we typically aim for a threshold of 2-4% (when based off those who have clicked an ad) though we’ve seen it jump to 20% or higher when advertising a promotion or offering a special incentive of some kind. 

Because prospecting audiences have never heard of your brand before, it’s difficult to convince them to convert with a social ad. For this reason we almost always use brand awareness or traffic objectives on our prospecting campaigns, but if we do have an activation event or a highly-qualified audience we’re pushing to purchase, we aim for a conversion rate in the 1% ballpark. 

To beat a dead horse: these are the conversion rate trends we’ve seen during our 30+ years of combined experience, but averages will always differ depending on your product’s pricepoint, brand maturity, competition and more. Our best advice is to test, test, test, and you’ll begin to get a feel for your averages after a while of building data from your campaigns.

One last note here: if your overall conversion rates are continually less than 0.5% despite paid media efforts, and macro-level trends that affect your business are also on the decline, it may be a sign that you need to pause paid media and focus instead on conversion rate optimizations and search engine optimizations. Check out our blog post on deciding when to put a hold on paid media

Want to learn more? Book a free consultation with us today at hello@makadigital.com, or enter your info below to receive our FREE guide of 17+ actionable promotions you can implement to increase your brand’s revenue and profit margins (no discounts needed!).

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*This blog post was originally posted on Quora by MAKA Digital team members.

When to Put a Hold on Paid Media

Paid media – PPC, Paid Social and Display, specifically – is one of our core services.  Along with SEO, these channels are what we do day-in and day-out for the world’s best lifestyle brands.  It’s what we’ve done collectively for over 30+ years.  And through those years, we’ve rarely seen a time and a place where Paid Media doesn’t make sense in a media mix.  But once in awhile there is.  If any of the following are happening to your website, you may want to rethink Paid Media in your current mix:

  • Your conversion rates are less than .5% and you can’t quickly prioritize Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Designing custom landing pages for paid media traffic is quite expensive for you (expensive, not just inconvenient)

  • The macro-level trends that affect your business are on the decline

In these cases, paid media dollars can be a lost cause.  The reason is either you can’t convert that traffic into customers to get an ROI or no reasonable level of paid media will reverse traffic declines at the macro level.  So, what do you do in these cases?

Search Engine Optimization

Use this time to double-down on SEO.  If macro level trends that affect your business are on the decline, now is the time to pivot with new content optimized for more viable keyword markets.  Create new content, optimize and amplify that content to help improve in rankings, and began to rebuild.  Now is also a great time to have a soup-to-nuts SEO audit done on your site to ensure no technical issues are impacting your traffic now or in the future.

And more SEO traffic means better bottom-line profitability that you can then use to reinvest back into your .com revenue with paid media.  It’s not that you’re giving up on paid media all together, it’s just a matter of prioritizing and resetting.

Conversion Rate Optimization

If conversion rates are your problem, do the housekeeping on your website to get customers from one step to the next all the way down the path to purchase.  Start with your homepage for the biggest impact – is your most important message above the fold?  Do you have clear and prominent calls to action?  Are your products showcased and put into context for visitors that don’t already know who you are?  Don’t stop there.  Evaluate your category pages, your product pages, your cart page and your checkout page.  We’re big fans of Hotjar to get some first-hand views into what areas of the site users are getting stuck on. 

And when the time is right, you fire that paid media back up and go after that much improved ROI.  Need help prioritizing your media mix?  We’re here for you:  hello@makadigital.com

What Google’s 2019 Keynote Announcements Mean for Marketers

Google announced some major improvements for both Ads and Shopping at their 2019 Keynote address. From linking and bidding optimizations to new options for audiences and product comparisons, marketers have a lot to look forward to in 2019. We’ve combed through the address and come up with five essential takeaways that likely will impact the marketing industry over the next year.

Impact on Ads

Gallery Ads were introduced, allowing marketers to include 4-8 images and a 70-character tagline for each image in their paid search ads. This is the first time that imagery has been integrated into traditional search ads and will greatly increase both the size of the ad and its ability to capture viewers’ attention. Images will be especially beneficial for brands in the food or consumer packaged goods space, as buyers can get a clearer idea of the product straight away. Though the end destination is still your website, these ads will likely change how Google defines a click on your ad.    

New Audience Type

Custom Affinity and Custom Intent audiences will be merged and renamed to “Custom Audiences”. This will be helpful for creating an audience type (such as “hiking enthusiasts”) that contains the best of both audience categories and using that audience across both Google and YouTube ads.

New Ways to Bid

Going forward, there will be a new bidding type that is focused on maximizing conversion value. It weighs different conversions against their values and optimizes bids accordingly. This means that marketers will be able to choose different conversions and conversion values at the campaign level, providing more flexibility with conversion tracking. Campaigns can even be optimized for conversions like for in-store visits.

Simplified Video Ads

Later in 2019, Google will be rolling out a new automated way to create YouTube’s six-second bumper. When a video is submitted, the platform will use machine learning to grab out 3-4 six-second clips that can then be used as bumper ads. Marketers will retain final control over these clips and the audio used for them, making this an easy way to engage with viewers your way while reducing time investment.

Changes to Google Shopping

Google Shopping will be experiencing some of the most exciting changes, according to this year’s keynote. A new Google Shopping site will roll out, which will allow users to see hundreds of products side by side with the option to purchase from online retailers directly through the Google Shopping interface. Users will be able to buy a product they see directly from a YouTube ad as well, and later this year the optimization will expand into Google Images.

Google is ever-changing – but keeping ahead of the curve is what MAKA does best. Contact us at hello@makadigital.com and we’ll use our industry experience to help you ride Google’s wave into your most profitable year yet.

Making the Most of Content Marketing for Your Retail Brand

We recently had a discussion with a large retail brand that is looking to leverage content marketing to reach new prospective consumers.  Their specific inquiry:

As [we] begin to place more emphasis on adjacent interests (food, travel, music, etc.) for our target customer - how should we think about content in this context? How can we make our site a destination of this type of content and make it stickier and more relevant to our customers?

The team rallied and formalized our thoughts in the following stance:

As you know, many of the digital marketing channels available to us as retailers are product-driven. But through a thoughtful process, digital marketers can flip that on its side and lead with content.  The “thoughtful process” is comprised of a few pillars. 

Pillar #1: Solve the perceived pain points of your target demographic.  For example, if you’re a footwear brand, maybe one of your target demo’s has the pain point of wanting to DIY their own shoe designs but they don’t know where to start or are seeking inspiration.  Go Live with an underground hip-hop artist customizing a white pair of Jordans.  Then leverage that Live to create evergreen blog posts, social posts, YT videos, snippets for SnapChat, etc to continue to reach prospects and build traffic.  Doing so will serve the search engines and build your cookie pool for product retargeting down-stream, revenue growth during major sales events, and for email opt-ins

Pillar #2: Leverage micro influencers to build reach that matters.  Some of us are huge Peloton fans and one a fan-favorite instructor is @RobinNYC.  Adidas, Burning Man, and a few other brands do a fantastic job of leveraging her and her platforms to push their messages in a way that entertains me as a follower and stays true to her personal brand.  Those two brands probably wouldn’t reach us any other ways, or at least not in such a credible way.  Not that you’ll find many of us at Burning Man.  #introvertproblems



Pillar #3:  Go outside of the typical realms of product advertising (Google Shopping, Brand PPC, etc) and live in the spaces that are content driven like Pinterest, IG, blogs and even Snapchat, depending on your target demographic. 

What ways have you leveraged content marketing for a traditionally strong retail site? Let us know in the comments!

Striking Distance Keywords: the often over-looked SEO tactic with the biggest payoff

Leverage Striking Distance Keywords in your Search Engine Optimizations

Most SEO audits are very thorough, cover all the important SEO factors, and the payoff can be experienced for years to come.  Our SEO audit clients are continuing to have year over year SEO traffic increases of 30%+ from audits done over three years ago.  But they can be costly. 

If you can’t yet afford a soup-to-nuts SEO audit, auditing your “striking distance” keywords – keywords that have the potential to rank on page 1 – and  improving those can have a nice payoff, bumping up revenue steadily.  To audit these keywords:

1.       Go into Google Search Console, Performance Report

2.       Add in Impressions, Clicks, Avg Position and CTR

3.       Download the Report

Sort the report by impressions and filter for all keywords in position 9 through 13.  These are your striking distance keywords.  They represent the biggest opportunity to get on page 1 with a bit of elbow grease, thus increasing your traffic.  Go through this report keyword by keyword and visit the pages that are ranking for each of those keywords and see what optimizations you need to make to improve rankings.  Often the optimizations with the biggest payoff are the following:

1.       Build more internal links to that page.  Blog posts, footers, navigation, and product descriptions are examples of places that can link back to the target page.

2.       Optimize page titles to include the target keywords

3.       Improve meta-descriptions for your target keyword.  This in and of itself won’t improve your rankings, but it can help improve your Click-Through Rates which gets you more traffic while your other optimizations take effect.

4.       Improve on-page text to include more of your target keyword.  Readability and flow is the first priority, so don’t use keywords too many times that they sound unnatural.  But sometimes a bit more keyword usage can help.

Doing this practice once a month will begin to have steady, noticeable improvements in your SEO traffic, which then allows you to invest more in paid media traffic and channels that grow your brand over the long-term. No time to manage this? Drop us a line at hello@makadigital.com and we’re happy to talk strategy.

Facebook and Instagram broke… did your performance break too?

It’s not uncommon for up-and-coming brands to be built with strong influencer and organic social media strategies. But if you took a hit in performance when Facebook and Instagram broke last week, it’s time to diversify your marketing mix.

When brands have strong influencer and organic social performance, that tells us a couple things. First, it tells us that the product is remarkable and likeable, which often means getting a consumer to purchase isn’t the problem. In fact, it’s probably a strength and one that lends itself to a strong ROI once you do begin to do paid media like Google ads, display ads and the like. Second, it tells us that there already is a groundswell happening for your products and now the challenge is to find new customers, which also is solved by diversifying your marketing mix to include paid media channels.

Recently, we talked about not building your castle on rented land. If Facebook and Instagram going down reinforces anything, it’s that point. A well-rounded marketing mix for any brand, but especially an emerging brand, is usually 50% paid channels, 25% owned channels (email lists, direct traffic), and 25% earned channels (PR, SEO, bloggers, influencers, organic social). If your brand isn’t quite there yet, it’s time to double-down on paid media, SEO, and building your email lists. We’re only going to see social performance drop more over time as Facebook continues to optimize its algorithm for paid exposure.

Not sure where to start? Reach out to us for a free consultation – katherine [at] makadigital.com

2 Secrets Brands Can Take from B2B to drive Direct-to-Consumer Revenue

Maybe you have a healthy marketing mix, you’re well-invested in all areas of the funnel, your organic search is dialed-in and your promotions are acquiring new customers (not just recapturing existing customers). But you still aren’t hitting your goals. What’s next? The B2B space holds a couple key secrets we see brands not leveraging:


Secret #1: You don’t have a “value ladder”

Follow me on this example: Your local dentist might send out a postcard to her ideal demographic offering a free cleaning. You come in for the free cleaning and while there, she mentions that your teeth are looking a little stained and he could whiten them while you’re there. You agree and while she’s whitening them, she notices that you must have had braces as a child and it seems that your teeth are shifting again. So she sells you into a retainer. And over the course of the return visits, you buy an expensive toothbrush, opt for cosmetic surgery, etc etc.

The point of this example is that every business, brands included, have a value ladder to nurture customers through to incrementally increase revenue. What’s your value ladder?


Image courtesy of Russel Brunsen, author of  DotComSecrets.

Image courtesy of Russel Brunsen, author of DotComSecrets.

Secret #2: You’ve only got one main product offering

Using our dentist example, maybe your revenue isn’t increasing because you only sell retainers and you’ve maximized those potential people. What’s next? You need to create (or oftentimes just reposition) products that get people into your door – the free cleaning and whitening services level people. And once you’ve tapped out all of those folks, and now you need to create a “cosmetic surgery” – that is, a high-end – package.

We worked with a very well-known national boutique fitness brand that did this extremely well. They had an online workout membership you could subscribe to. And the next upgrade was an in-studio class package. And after that, the next upsell was prepaying an annual studio membership. And for the handful interested, they offered an ultra-exclusive in-person wellness retreat hosted by the founder of the company.

How can you create packages and reposition products to create entry, mid-tier, and high-end offerings to ensure incremental revenue?

Are You Treating Search as Shelf Space?

Hey, Katherine Romero here, co-founder of MAKA Digital. Much of my career prior to agency life was spent building footwear brands in the digital space. The company I did that for was wildly successful and had a strong sales team whose job was to sell into the Nordstrom and REI’s of the world. I remember in one particular sales meeting, the CEO gave an insightful speech about what it takes to build a brand at traditional retail spaces. It took:

  • Having compelling POP – bright and colorful, eye catching, and have attractive people in the photography

  • Having eye-catching products – color pops, unexpected designs, collaborations

  • Knowledgeable sales people – people that can hype the benefits of your shoe vs the competition

And more, but those were the key points. This speech didn’t sit right with me, though. For a company with brands that have a strong Direct-to-Consumer channel banking double margins, why in this decade are we still counting on building brands firstly through wholesale and retailers? They are a key component of a holistic business, don’t get me wrong. But that can’t be central focus.

The New Shelf Space

Some of the most successful D2C brands out there understand that Google is the new shelf space. And dominating that shelf space is the key. Dominating doesn’t happen by just ranking well organically. That’s the first step, sure. But you really need to dominate that SERP with all the other tools in your tool belt. If you’re taking up page 1, that’s that much further you push your competition down the page and that’s that much more market-share you take.

search-is-the-new-shelf-space

Dominate with:

  • Google Ads: Text ads, shopping ads, and extensions

  • Your website: Rank as high as you can, have clear site architecture and get sitelinks taking up serious SERP real estate

  • Your social properties: Get your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds ranking well. Yelp too if you have a brick-and-mortar presence. YouTube as well if your brand lends itself well to YouTube

  • Your affiliates and partners: Feed top keyword data to your extended sales force and help get their content for your brand ranking on page 1

  • The Brand Panel: populate it with as much info as possible, upload compelling imagery, create posts, and populate some of the Q&As.

It’s rare that we find a brand that is approaching search with the mentality as traditional retail shelf space. (Nestle Waters, of all companies, gets it… talk about a boring, traditional retail brand.) But when they do, traffic shoots up, sustainable growth happens, and bottom-line profitability is often improved.

Not sure where to start for your brand? Let’s talk! katherine@makadigital.com

Instagram and Facebook strike again - what brands need to do to take back control

Instagram has made some changes recently that’s affecting every brand we’ve been in contact with. Reach has tanked yet again, followers have been lost, then gained back, then lost again, and engagement is dropping by the day.

It’s time to diversify.

A key trend we’re seeing happen for brands starting as early as January 2018 is that brands that had been built on organic social strategies like social influencers, great content and authentic engagement with their audience can’t get by with those same strategies any more. They’re important still for sure, they’re just not pulling in the same magic they once were.

We love organic strategies, and you should still too. Organic is part of what builds a profitable marketing mix that can sustain for the long-haul. And organic is what gives ground cover to test new things with marketing dollars, fail, iterate, and eventually find those veins of gold.

You can’t build your castle on rented land.

Social Media platforms will only continue to cut brands’ organic performance

Social Media platforms will only continue to cut brands’ organic performance

2019 is only proving further that the social media platforms will change on a dime and brands need to take back some ownership if their revenue growth from these giants. If you haven’t invested in long-term, sustainable SEO it’s time. If you haven’t focused on email list growth, it’s time. If you’re not leveraging the earned media your PR team is getting, it’s time.

Want to learn more? Book a free consultation with us today at hello@makadigital.com, or enter your info below to receive our FREE guide of 17+ actionable promotions you can implement to increase your brand’s revenue and profit margins (no discounts needed!).

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Cyber Five 2018 Is A Wrap — Here Are The Biggest Insights We Gained

We’ve made it through another Cyber Five (the fancy term for the shopping bloodbath between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday) and the MAKA Digital team is breathing a sigh of relief and catching up on our ZZZs. Though Cyber Five was crazy, as always, it was also the best one yet—revenue numbers were higher than last year nearly across the board, and we gained worthwhile insights and learnings to be applied next year, the best of which we’ll share here.

Insight 1: Launch Campaigns Earlier to Compete with Large Retailers

Most of our clients’ campaigns launched at 12:00 a.m. on Black Friday in their respective time zones. But those who launched days before, or even just hours before, saw powerful revenue numbers come through before the clock even struck midnight. One client made 6% of their total Cyber Five revenue on Thursday night just by launching around 10:00 pm Pacific rather than 12:00 am Pacific. Our major takeaway here: As the biggest retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, push their Cyber Five campaigns earlier and earlier into the week, other companies are smart to follow suit and launch their campaigns on Thanksgiving or even test launching on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Insight 2: Make Mentions of the Sale in Homepage Meta Descriptions

It’s a common strategy to include mentions of Cyber Five sales in paid search and shopping campaigns, but another channel that can benefit from this practice is organic search. During Cyber Five we ran a test for one client in which we updated their homepage meta description to mention their weekend sale, and this updated text received a click-through rate that was a full percent point higher than their traditional meta description. A word of warning, though—updating meta descriptions is dependent on Google’s bots and how fast they can crawl your website and update the new text in Google’s search results. Reverting back to regular text after the sale is also dependent on Google’s bots again crawling the site in a timely fashion, which leaves the potential for the sale-themed meta description to still be live after the sale is over. The best way to combat any confusion this may cause is to emphasize the timeframe of the sale within the text, such as “Shop our biggest sale of the year, through Cyber Monday,” or something similar. You can also force Google’s bots to crawl your site through the “Fetch as Google” link in Google Search Console, though it’s still not a complete guarantee that all text will be updated immediately.  

Insight 3: Holiday-Themed Imagery Performs Better Than Traditional Imagery

Within the social media campaigns that ran over Cyber Five, we saw stronger responses to any imagery that was holiday-themed. If you’re not sure which holidays your customers celebrate, feel free to stick with a general holiday aesthetic—gift wrapping, lights, snow, pinecones and berries, or even just a red, green, gold or blue color scheme work well. Anything that’s outside of your traditional creative imagery will signify to viewers that this ad is something special and worthy of their attention. For us these holiday ads generated click-through rates that were roughly double our traditional ads.

Insight 4: More On-Site Payment Options

The option to check out with PayPal is ubiquitous across the internet by this point, but there are many other payment options that are worth considering if they’re not already implemented on your website. Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay are some of the big players in the space, and the options will only grow as digital eCommerce expands. Though there are fees with any third-party payment tools, they can help to increase both checkout conversion rates and customer trust, as a study by Bounteous showed that 40% of shoppers feel more secure purchasing from a site with multiple payment options.  

In addition, if you carry products with high price points, consider offering financing options on your website, such as paying for the product in multiple installments. This will cause the product to appear cheaper and can help overcome any reservations customers may have with the pricing.

 

Now that we’ve shared a few insights, we’d love to hear what you learned this Cyber Five. Drop us a line at hello@makadigital.com, and in the meantime, we’ll be gorging ourselves on sugar cookies and peppermint bark. From the team at MAKA Digital, happy holidays.

Google's New, Bigger Ad Format — Is It Worth The Hype?

It’s been three months since Google changed the world as we know it (or maybe just our world) by announcing a new wave of changes to its advertising platform. These changes included a new paid search ad format called responsive search ads (RSAs), and here at MAKA Digital we were excited to dig in and try them out, as they were built to allow for bigger headlines and descriptions than traditional ads, as well as an automated way of testing which ad text is the most successful.

Tell Me More.

There was a lot that initially seemed worthwhile about RSAs. Larger headlines and descriptions are never a bad thing for enticing viewers to click on your ads—they provide more information about your brand and they take up more real estate on the search results page. These ads also allow you to give Google a group of different headline and text ads, and Google will dynamically serve these in different combinations until it finds the combination that leads to the best click-throughs and other metrics. Google said that in early tests RSAs had led to higher click-through rates, and all these factors combined seemed to make them a slam dunk.

What’s the Catch?

When we first launched RSAs in isolated campaigns, the outlook looked good—during those first few weeks, they showed higher click-through rates and lower CPCs than traditional ads. Fast forward to several months later, though, and the prognosis doesn’t sound as great. Since those first tests we’ve run RSAs across several client accounts, and the results have changed (read: performance staled in a big hurry). Click-through rates are still occasionally higher, but often only within campaigns focusing on brand-related keywords, and sometimes even then they’re not any higher than traditional ads. And they haven’t led to a significant change in conversion rates, either. This a phenomenon that’s been echoed industry-wide.

So What Happened?

This turn toward low performance seems counterintuitive. Why wouldn’t bigger ads/longer text lead to more clicks? We’re not sure, but it seems it has something to do with Google dynamically optimizing for the best-performing text combinations—this appears to have caused click-throughs to worsen, not improve, indicating that Google’s bots are simply not as adept as human marketers in judging which text is truly the better performer. Google also has not offered much help in analyzing its selected combinations of text within an ad, with only impression data available to view here rather than click-throughs or conversions.

So Where Do We Go from Here?

At this point, we’ve taken to analyzing RSAs at an individual level—if one appears to be performing strongly for a certain group of keywords, we’ll keep it in place, and if it’s underperforming in another group of keywords, we’ll turn it off in favor of traditional ads. Though overall trends show that RSAs are not all they cracked up to be, every keyword group is different, and it’s worth weeding through for any black sheep. If you’re ready to turn off all RSAs, though, don’t be afraid—Google has promised that they won’t be sunsetting traditional ads, so they’ll always be a viable option to return to. Even better, traditional ads now offer longer headlines and descriptions, which is a great option to try if you’re not seeing success from RSAs.

In upcoming months we’ll be waiting for Google to fine-tune its dynamic text combinations and provide more metrics to compare these combinations, and maybe then we’ll give RSAs more weight. In the meantime, we’re appreciative that human marketing instincts have won at least one battle against Google’s all-powerful bots.

Still have more questions about RSAs vs. traditional ads? Did all the acronyms and metrics we mentioned sound like mumbo-jumbo? Give us a shout out at hello@makadigital.com and we’d be happy to talk it through.

New Business Page Templates and Audience Targeting Abilities Get You Closer to the Facebook Viewers You Want to Reach

Facebook has been giving us no shortage of changes recently—from limits on organic reach for businesses to new policies regulating political content. If you’re still trying to catch your breath from all this, we don’t blame you—but don’t let your guard down just yet, because there’s a new round of changes coming your way. Luckily, these are likely to be in your favor.

New Audience Targeting Ability for Organic Posts

You no longer have to pay to promote a post in order to target it to a specific audience. Facebook is now beginning to offer this ability to organic (unpaid) posts, through a feature called audience optimization. Although it’s not yet available to all business pages, you can check if it’s been rolled out to your account by via one of two ways:

If your page has less than 5,000 page-likes:

Click on the “General” tab of your page settings, and on the right side of the page, look for the “Audience Optimization for Posts” section, which should appear under the “Visitor Posts” section. If you don’t see it, your account likely hasn’t received it, so sit tight! If you do see it, you’ll need to enable it. Click the “edit” button in that section, and when the box expands, check the option to “allow preferred audience selection,” and save changes. You now have the ability to use audience targeting for organic posts.

If your page has more than 5,000 page-likes:

Write a post as you normally would on your company profile page, and then select the drop-down menu on the “Public” option—you’ll see a “New Feed Targeting” option with a target next to it. You can also choose restricted audience, which will show your post to certain ages and locations. This latter option is recommended if you’re a local business trying to limit your viewers to only your specific location, or otherwise trying to drive in-store results.

News Feed Targeting.png

So what are best practices for news feed targeting?

If you’ve run promoted (paid) posts to specific audiences in the past, you’ll want to choose the top-performing audiences here and apply them to your organic targeting. If you’ve never run promoted posts and don’t have audience insights, start from the ground up and test different audiences on your organic posts to determine which will perform the best. Specific interests are often better than broad (“high-heeled footwear” versus “shoes”) and brand interests can also be effective (“Lululemon Athletica,” etc.). Smaller audiences are typically better—if Facebook’s estimated reach for your audience is surpassing the 1 million mark, narrow your interest selection or apply age/gender/location restrictions to bring down reach numbers.

One thing to note is that targeted audiences are marked by Facebook as being “more likely to see your post,” meaning that the post can still potentially serve to people outside this interest targeting. This is not the case if you choose a restricted audience; here the post will serve only to those in that demographic or location. 

New Profile Templates for Business Pages

On the topic of company profile pages, there’s a big change happening there, too—Facebook is also rolling out a larger selection of profile template types to choose from. The full list of new template types features Services, Business, Venues, Movies, Nonprofits, Politicians, Restaurants and Cafes, Shopping, Video Page, and Standard. These are intended to offer tailored features for each page type—Movie pages will highlight showtimes, while Shopping is designed to showcase products. Business templates include places for special offers and job postings, and may be best for B2B companies.

If you’re not sure which template best fits your business, not to worry—as soon as they’re available to your page, you’ll be able to browse the features of each, and you can also change your template at any time. Visit your page settings and the “Edit Page” tab to browse and select a template.

Facebook Business Page Templates.png

You’re likely to receive an email from Facebook when the new templates are available to you, and your template may also be automatically transitioned by Facebook (only if you don’t take action on it yourself within a certain window of time).

With its wider selection of business page templates and new audience targeting features, Facebook seems to be trying to compensate for the hits businesses have taken in its recent algorithm changes. As you dive in, let us know how they’re affecting your business page, or reach out to us with any questions at hello@makadigital.com.

Video captioning is the easiest thing you can do to increase organic video views on Facebook — here's how.

Video from  Ellen DeGeneres

Video from Ellen DeGeneres

Did you know that 85% of viewers watch Facebook videos with the sound off?

It’s a staggering number, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, you’re often on Facebook during those “in-between” moments—while waiting in a doctor’s office, standing in a long line at the post office, or putting off that work project you really need to start.

And during those times you don’t necessarily want your volume to be blaring (especially if you’re watching your favorite “Company is Coming!” video for the umpteenth time).

This is why it’s so important to have captions available on all of the videos you create for Facebook.

It’s even more important when you consider that captions increase the accessibility of your videos, as many Facebook users have hearing disabilities that render closed captioning absolutely necessary for watching a video.

If you’re not convinced yet, here’s another statistic: captions can increase video watch time by up to 12%.

“But aren’t captions annoying?” many people ask. “What if they distract from my video?”

We believe that the benefits of video captioning outweigh the risk of them being distracting for some users. In addition, Facebook allows for the creation of captions that can be turned on and off at the viewer’s discretion, so they can be easily disabled. In fact, Facebook will even create these captions for you. Read more here on how to have Facebook automatically generate captions on video posts. This is the easiest form of captioning and the best for rookies; just note that it will likely require a bit of editing afterwards to ensure accuracy.

Another option for adding captions to your videos are SubRip (.srt) files, which is a manual form of captioning created by typing out your captions using time-stamps for each sentence. It’s time-consuming, but ensures exact accuracy. Luckily, SubRip files don’t require fancy programs or technical know-how; they can be created using Notepad and this guide. (Hint: make sure you follow this formatting exactly, including the spaces around the arrows. Otherwise Facebook may spit back an error when you try to upload the file.)

Image from  Facebook

Image from Facebook

If you’re using a video that’s on your YouTube channel, you can also download the YouTube-generated captions as a .srt file and transfer them to the Facebook version of the video. (Here’s how to download that YouTube .srt file.)

Another option entirely is to include imbedded captions in your video rather than generating them after the video is finished. These can be more aesthetically pleasing since they offer the opportunity to customize fonts, colors, and sizing, but they are also more time-consuming to build, and they aren’t able to be removed from the video if a viewer finds them distracting. Ultimately, imbedded captioning is recommended if your video includes dialogue that is difficult to understand (such as this anesthesia-filled teenager who’s just had her wisdom teeth out and is planning her wedding to Captain America).

Screenshot from   Seventeen

Screenshot from Seventeen

Think you only need captions if your video includes dialogue? Think again. Even narrated videos can benefit from captioning that allow viewers with their sound off to follow along. This written narration can be included on videos that highlight new technology, travel destinations, eCommerce products, or even just gossip about the royal wedding.

Screenshot from   Cosmopolitan

Screenshot from Cosmopolitan

Video captioning has become so popular that Facebook even offers it on live videos, which is generated through a third-party captioning service provider. And what about Facebook’s cooler cousin, Instagram? Strangely enough, Instagram has not yet fully boarded the captioning train. As of the writing of this post, Instagram does not offer the ability to generate captions for your videos or upload them as separate files, meaning your only option is to imbed captions into your video. Still, if running a long or dialogue-heavy video on Instagram this is recommended, especially as video becomes an increasingly popular post format on the platform.

The bottom line of video captioning is this: you’ve put time and energy into creating a quality video for your audience. You want as many people as possible to watch that video. That being said, why wouldn’t you utilize a reasonably simple (and free!) way to encourage more viewers to watch your video? If you’re not putting captions on your videos, you’re risking losing a viewer as they instead scroll toward another cat video.  

Still have questions about putting captions on your videos? Not sure which method is right for you? Reach out at hello@makadigital.com and we’d be happy to help.

What is the GDPR? What Your Business Needs to Stay Compliant

Disclaimer: this post was written in partnership with attorney Christina Scalera but is not legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel to ensure GDPR compliance.

 

WHAT IS THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR)?

We’ve all heard about the big data breaches. That time a-shall-remain-nameless retailer had its credit card numbers lifted (we forgive you). The (it seems like daily) emails we get from doctors’ offices, software providers and online shops that tell us, “Oops! Someone hacked our system and your data may be compromised.”

The GDPR was designed to help protect us as internet users from these breaches of trust. It is designed to do that in two ways: (1) it makes consent to use your name, email and other data optional, and (2) if there is a breach, it forces the site/shop to tell you within 72 hours, not months and months after a cyber attack or hack.

5 WAYS TO TELL IF THE GDPR APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS

Even though this new General Data Protection Regulation is focused on European markets, there will be many businesses in the U.S. who will have to comply. Here’s how you can figure out if you are one of them:

  1. A reasonable amount of people who are on your email list or who visit your site are based in the EU (which includes the UK); or
  2. You use EU-based languages to market your goods and services; or
  3. Your domain name ends with an abbreviation that’s EU-based (e.g., .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .es for Spain); or
  4. You accept payment in Euros; or
  5. You target European countries for sales, including the United Kingdom.

HOW CAN I BECOME GDPR-COMPLIANT?

STEP 1.  ADD (OR AMMEND) A PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS & CONDITIONS TO YOUR SITE.

Terms and conditions + privacy policy is something super fun, disguised as a bore-fest. Your terms and conditions tell people what is and is not allowed. For example, if you do not want people right-clicking and saving or sharing your images, that’s where this information would be housed.

A privacy policy is slightly different. It tells anyone who visits your site what information you’re collecting from them, from cookies to names and emails. It also tells your visitors what you do with this information.

The privacy policy has always been required by U.S. law, and setting up rules for your visitors (terms and conditions) has always been a good idea. It gives you something to reference for FAQs, like, “what is your refund policy?” and “can I use your images with credit?”

This step is nothing new for business owners, but having a GDPR-compliant privacy policy looks a little different than policies of yesteryear.

Action steps:

  • There are many templates and tool kits available online that will help you structure your terms & conditions and privacy policy to be GDPR compliant, such as this one from The Contract Shop
  • Here’s an online checklist you can reference to see if the remainder of your website is GDPR compliant (Please note that these templates and checklists are not affiliated with MAKA Digital).
  • Once you have updated your TCPP and website, it is best practice to email consumers about this update. 

STEP 2. CONSENT TO OPT-IN IS NOW REQUIRED.

Unfortunately, where Step 1 (see above) used to be enough, it no longer is under the GDPR. One of the major changes is the requirement that you get consent from the visitor when they opt-in to your communications and visit your website.

Action steps:

  • When a consumer from the EU opts in to receive communications from you, there is explicit language and checkboxes that now need to be included on your opt-in forms. Reference your document templates or legal advisor for approved language.
  • This consent has to be freely given, so online business owners will need to make sure any opt-in forms aren’t checked ‘yes’ by default if the visitor is from the EU.
  • For traffic coming from the EU, they need to be shown a notice about cookies used on your site.  This can be achieved by using a cookie bar that pops up a notification. Many website platforms also offer plugins to automatically detect EU visitors and show this notice.  If you are on a common website platform it is worth searching the app/plug-in store for a solution.

STEP 3. KEEP LEARNING ABOUT THE GDPR.

The truth is we only know how this thing is going to look and work in theory until the EU starts enforcing it, and we don’t know when that will be. While the GDPR officially takes effect on May 25th, it’s best to stay up-to-date on news even after this point to make sure your webstore is continually compliant. We’ll keep you updated on future news, and feel free to drop us a line at hello@makadigital.com if you have any questions.

Facebook's latest privacy changes — how will they affect your business?

What is going on with Facebook?

Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have had quite the news cycle in the past few weeks.  In summary, Facebook is currently in hot water for two key reasons:

  • Facebook is facing Congress over the sale and transfer of user data (without user consent) from a Facebook app developer to data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica in 2010. 
  • Facebook is also under investigation for the role they played in Russia influencing the US presidential election. 

How will it impact me as an advertiser?

For the purposes of this post, we are focusing on the Cambridge Analytica topic and its potential impact. In short, as we are writing this, there is not yet a significant impact to marketing capabilities and advertising performance on Facebook. Facebook has begun phasing out targeting options that use 3rd party data from data aggregators such as Experian, Acxiom, Epsilon, and Oracle Data Cloud.  This includes targeting options regarding purchase behaviors and profiles, such as those who own a Honda or frequently purchase fitness gear, for example. In upcoming weeks Facebook is also expected to phase out income targeting, as well as certain education and job title targeting. It is worth noting that these constitute a small subset of targeting options, and businesses using Facebook ads are still able to reach highly targeted, relevant audiences based on interests, geography, and other demographics. 

In the long term, we anticipate there will be restrictions around data policy, data access and targeting capabilities that will impact how ads can be delivered and to whom they can reach.  These restrictions may impact advertising performance.

For now, the social media marketing industry is very much in wait-and-see mode as this story is developing and unfolding daily.                                                                                                     

What should I do?

Currently we believe the that positives of Facebook marketing still outweigh the negatives. We don’t expect brands who continue to advertise on Facebook to experience backlash from customers. However, you are the best judge of what is right for your business, and should you decide to move away from Facebook advertising, there’s myriad other options available to you in the digital marketing space, such as Google and Bing ads, Pinterest ads, and YouTube ads, just to name a few.  

Want to dive deeper into Facebook audience targeting or other digital marketing channels? We’re always happy to talk. Drop us a line at hello@makadigital.com.

Instagram Stories: The Quick and Easy Beginning Guide

While nearly everyone in the marketing world is working to adjust to Facebook’s new Explore Feed, the team at MAKA Digital is also diving into the other side of the social media giant—that’s right, Instagram. Specifically, Instagram Stories. We all use Instagram Stories to keep up with our friends and favorite celebrities (I’m here for Taylor Swift’s cat videos) but they’re also great for bringing more brand awareness (and conversions!) to your webstore. No matter whether you have a large or small Instagram following, Instagram Stories can be your next big lever to pull to engage your audience. Here’s why:

Instagram Stories boasts over 300 million daily users, according to AdWeek, while users typically spend 24-32 minutes a day on the Instagram platform. This is a huge, highly engaged demographic that shouldn’t be overlooked.

We’ve already seen some great performance from organic Instagram Stories for our eCommerce clients. Just take a look at these revenue numbers:

Instagram Stories Revenue Example.png
Instagram Stories Revenue Example 2.png

You can’t afford to be missing out on this. Here’s how to get started.  

What you’ll need:

For imagery:

  • Resolution of 1080x1920
  • Any amount of text is allowed in the image
  • Optional: A call-to-action encouraging viewers to swipe up (more on this feature below)

For video:

  • Video formatted as MP4 or MOV
  • Resolution of 1080x1920
  • Aspect ratio of 9:16
  • Max file size of 4 GB
  • Max length of 15 seconds

The “swipe up” feature allows you to send your viewer to a custom URL when they swipe up on your story (think product pages, event pages, etc.) Currently, the ability to add the swipe up feature is only available in organic stories if you have more than 10,000 followers.

Image from   Buffer

Image from Buffer

Best Practices:

Stay away from making your stories feel too much like a stiff advertisement. Most of your followers will view them in a line-up of stories from friends and other personal accounts, so you’ll want your stories to feel natural, raw and fun. This is the perfect place to use text and emoji overlays or filters like stop-motion and boomerangs. Here’s a guide for using all this and more in your Instagram Stories.

Because you have so little time to get your message across (Each segment of an Instagram story lasts a maximum of 15 seconds, and paid advertisements are limited to one segment) you need to skip the fluff and get straight to the message. Clearly state or show the purpose of the Instagram story, such as a limited time deal or new release, and make sure you include your brand name or logo so there’s no doubt as to who is displaying this message.

If you’re creating organic Instagram Stories that will be seen by your followers (aka people who are already familiar with your brand) give them something special and make them feel like they’re part of an insider’s club. Take viewers inside your office and shoot quick cameos from members of your team (just make sure they’ve had time to fix their hair) or offer behind-the-scenes footage into the production of your product. Make sure you’re highlighting the unique value of your product or company.

Launching a new product soon? Use Instagram Stories as a way to tease the new product in the days and weeks before the launch. Hitting up a trade show? Advertise the event and your booth number beforehand, and then do videos from the event itself. Have partnerships with social influencers? Try clips of them using your product.

Should you take the leap into paid Instagram Stories?

If you’ve seen strong engagement and some website traffic and revenue flowing in from your organic Instagram Stories, you’re likely ready to dive into paid Instagram Stories. Even better if you’ve already been running traditional Facebook and Instagram ads. It doesn’t matter how high your Instagram follower count is; you can push Instagram Story ads out to those beyond your followers.

When making Instagram Story ads, keep in mind that ads have to be kept to a 15 second maximum (if you’re running an image it will remain on the viewers’ screen for 15 seconds). You only get one 15-second segment, unlike organic stories, which are allowed multiple. (I know. Life isn’t fair.) For this reason it’s more important than ever to get straight to the point. Clearly state your call to action. If running a video, it’s best to include your brand name or logo at the end for viewers who don’t already know you.

Choose your objective before choosing your audience. If you want to use your ad to drive brand awareness, chose a prospecting audience that’s unfamiliar with but likely to be interested in your product. If you’re just looking to drive revenue, start with a remarketing/retargeting audience that’s been to your website or engaged with your social media profiles. We’ve found this audience is the best for following the Stories funnel down to a purchase.

A technical note:

When choosing the placement for your Instagram Story ads, make sure you choose mobile only. It’s unlikely that people will see your story on desktop, but there are ways to do it, and viewing on mobile will provide a better experience.

You're On Your Way!

And that’s it! Just remember to keep your Instagram Story fun, natural, and to the point. And if you have any questions—or have never touched Instagram Stories before and are feeling overwhelmed by all this data—feel free to reach out to hello@makadigital.com. This stuff is our jam and we’re here to talk you through it.